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Judge rules nuclear protesters must remain jailed

Published On: May 11 2013 05:51:50 PM CDT
Updated On: May 11 2013 02:51:37 PM CDT
KNOXVILLE, Tn. -

A judge has ruled that an elderly nun and two other nuclear protesters must remain jailed until they are sentenced for breaking into the Y-12 National Security Complex and defacing the walls of a uranium processing plant.

Sister Megan Rice, 83, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed  were convicted Wednesday of interfering with national security and damaging federal property during last year's incursion. They cut through security fences, hung banners, strung crime-scene tape and hammered off a small chunk of the fortress-like Highly Enriched Uranium Materials facility.

An attorney for the defendants asked the judge on Thursday to allow their release pending their Sept. 23 sentencing.

Reports say U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar issued an order Friday that indicated he felt releasing the defendants would be too lenient.