TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Lawrence Lombardi, 62, formerly of Tallahassee, Florida, was sentenced to serve an additional 33 years in federal prison at a hearing today at the U.S. Courthouse in Tallahassee. The sentencing hearing was a result of Lombardi’s conviction in 2000 for planting and detonating two pipe bombs on the campus of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) in August and September of 1999. Lawrence Keefe, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced the sentence.
“Lawrence Lombardi’s criminal acts terrorized FAMU faculty, students, and their family members during the fall of 1999 and generated fear in our community that lingered on well past his arrest,” said U.S. Attorney Keefe. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to doing everything legally possible to pursue, prosecute, and punish criminals like Lombardi, whose reckless acts are intended to injure or kill innocent citizens.”
In 1999-2000, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida prosecuted Lombardi for detonating two pipe bombs on the campus of the historically black university. Although no one was injured, the trial evidence left no doubt that the bombings were motivated by racial prejudice. The federal jury convicted Lombardi of six counts: two counts of maliciously damaging property, two counts of using a destructive device during and in relation to a crime of violence, and two counts of interfering with federally protected activities on the basis of race or color. Lombardi was subsequently sentenced to life plus 39 years in federal prison.
When Lombardi was sentenced in 2000, the two counts of using a destructive device during and in relation to a crime of violence were the most impactful because they carried significant mandatory sentencing requirements. Lombardi faced a mandatory consecutive term of 30 years’ imprisonment on the first count, and a mandatory consecutive term of life imprisonment on the second count. On the remaining four counts of the conviction, Lombardi was sentenced to concurrent terms of 108 months (or 9 years).
In 2019, the United States Supreme Court decided United States v. Davis, 139 S. Ct. 2319 (2019), and held that part of the definition of a “crime of violence” is unconstitutionally vague. Citing Davis, Lombardi filed a collateral motion in the district court challenging his two convictions for using a destructive device during and in relation to a crime of violence. While the government opposed Lombardi’s motion, the district court concluded that those two convictions were invalid under Davis.
When the two convictions were vacated, along with the mandatory consecutive penalties accompanying them, Lombardi sought to have his sentence reduced to time served in a motion filed by his attorney in February, 2020. The government opposed the motion and the district court determined that a resentencing on the four remaining counts of the conviction was warranted.
The Honorable District Judge Robert E. Hinkle heard victim impact statements from survivors of the bombings at today’s hearing before imposing a combined total sentence of 54 years. Lombardi has already served approximately 21 years in prison. Assistant United States Attorney Jordane Learn represented the government.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.