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Another Defendant Sentenced In Georgia Navy Base Vandalism Case

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) - A federal court judge sentenced another defendant convicted of North Carolina man convicted of the April 2018 illegal entry and vandalism of Submarine Base Kings Bay to federal prison according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood sentenced Patrick O'Neill, 63, of Garner, N.C., to 14 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $33,503.51 in restitution, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.

A jury found O'Neill, along with six other defendants, guilty after a four-day jury trial in October 2019 on charges of Conspiracy, Destruction of Property on a Naval Installation, Depredation of Government Property, and Trespass. In addition, he will serve three years of supervised release after completion of his prison sentence.

There is no parole in the federal system.

As admitted by the defendants during the trial, including O'Neill's body-worn camera video recording of the activities shown to jurors, the seven entered an outer security fence at the naval installation in St. Marys, Georiga  after cutting a padlock from a gate during the late hours of April 4, 2018. Once through the security fence, the trespassers split into two groups and then damaged and vandalized property inside the facility before naval security personnel took them into custody.

O'Neill, a freelance journalist, has a long history of arrests including those related to trespassing and damaging government property.

Stephen Michael Kelly, 71, of Massachusetts, previously was sentenced to 33 months in prison in the case, and Elizabeth McAlister, 80, of New London, Conn., was sentenced to the 17 months, nine days of time already served in the case. The remaining defendants – Mark Peter Colville, 59, of New Haven, Conn.; Clare Therese Grady, 62, of Ithaca, N.Y.; Martha Hennessy, 65, of Perkinsville, Vt.; and Carmen Trotta, 57, of New York, N.Y. – are scheduled for sentencing in November.

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