Cesar Sayoc, the 57-year-old Florida man who pleaded guilty to mailing 16 pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and CNN last October, was sentenced Monday to 20 years in prison. "I am beyond so very sorry for what I did," Sayoc told the judge. "Now that I am a sober man, I know that I was a sick man. I should have listened to my mother, the love of my life." Per the Washington Post, the improvised explosive devices were inoperable, and prosecutors and defense lawyers went back and forth during the hearing about how dangerous they actually were. But "what counts is what he did, and what he intended at the time that he did it," said the judge before imposing the sentence.
Sayoc himself said at his plea hearing that he did not mean to hurt anyone, but acknowledged the devices could have exploded, per ABC News. Defense lawyers described Sayoc as someone with "cognitive limitations and severe learning disabilities" who had been abandoned by his father, sexually abused by a teacher, and "lost everything in the Great Recession." They also said he became "isolated" as his steroid usage increased. When he was arrested, soon after the bombs started appearing days before the midterm elections, Sayoc was living primarily in a van covered in pro-Trump stickers. They say he "came to believe that prominent Democrats were actively working to hurt him, other Trump supporters and the country as a whole." (Read more Cesar Sayoc stories.)