Skip Ohlsen Sentenced To 20 Years For Clayton Bombing
CLAYTON, MO (KPLR) – The man who pleaded guilty to planting a bomb in a Clayton parking garage that seriously injured an attorney back in 2008 learned his fate this morning.
Milton ‘Skip’ Ohlsen, 41, was sentenced to 20 years in prison plus three years of supervised release.
Ohlsen pleaded guilty to four explosives-related charges in the case back in September.
Today`s sentence was part of that plea agreement.
The bombing seriously injured attorney John Gillis who was not the intended target.
Authorities believe the bomb was meant for attorney Rick Eisen who represented Ohlsen`s ex-wife in their divorce.
Investigators say surveillance video shows Ohlsen with the bomb in the garage back in October of 2008.
The bomb was concealed in a gift basket.
It exploded the next day when Gillis moved it because it was blocking his car.
It turns out that Gillis and the Eisen drove similar cars & that`s why investigators believe Ohlsen put the bomb in that particular area of the garage.
Ohlsen was in an orange t-shirt and orange prison pants in court.
He wore glasses and was brought in with handcuffs and ankle shackles.
In a lengthy statement in court, Ohlsen apologized to Gillis but never directly apologized for what happened.
He said to Gillis, “I am very sorry this happened to you.”
But he said that much of the story of what happened remains ‘untold and unrecognized.’
Ohlsen told the court ‘he wants more facts on the record.’
Ohlsen also criticized the prosecution and plea bargain process, saying ” can`t win and I don`t want to play your game any longer.”
Ohlsen said he was accepting of the punishment he was receiving and that he hoped it was a step “towards making things right.”
Ohlsen also told the court that he was not asking for forgiveness and “struggles with my shame.”
Ohlsen became emotional and actually had to stop for a short time after he apologized to his two kids who are eight and five years old.
There was some drama after Ohlsen`s statement when the prosecutor asked Judge Richard Webber to throw out the plea if Ohlsen would not reaffirm his guilt.
That request came because in his statement Ohlsen never took direct responsibility for what happened.
Judge Webber said it was not necessary to throw out the original plea because Ohlsen already pleaded guilty in September.
In sentencing Ohlsen, Judge Webber noted Ohlsen`s lengthy criminal record and said that the public “needs protection from him.”
Judge Webber said the crime was ‘long planned’ and ‘deserving of a very severe sentence.’
Ohlsen has to serve at least 85% of the sentence.
Ohlsen`s ex-wife was in the courtroom but had no comment after the sentencing.
Ohlsen`s lead attorney, Adam Fein, also had no comment.
Gillis was not in the courtroom today.
Eisen was there- he said little except to indicate that he was glad this chapter was over.