A supporter of the Islamic State received a 28-year prison sentence Tuesday for plotting to decapitate conservative blogger Pamela Geller.
Judge William G. Young said during the hearing that he was uncomfortable with sentencing David Wright for crafting an elaborate plot in 2015 to kill Geller, who is known for orchestrating anti-Islamic events around the country.
“You are not a monster, yet you embraced a monstrous evil,” Young told Wright, who cried in a Boston federal courthouse while apologizing for his actions. He also denounced ISIS and promised to make right some of the “mistakes” he made in the past.
Prosecutors said Wright and two other men conspired to kill Geller because they were upset she organized a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas in 2015. Two separate men shot and wounded a security guard outside the contest before they were killed in a shootout with law enforcement.
Wright’s attorneys requested a 16-year sentence and insisted he never intended on hurting Geller or anyone else — they claimed he merely pretended to support ISIS, so he could garner attention online.
“I said a lot of fantastical things about what I intended, where I wanted to go and where I wanted to travel, and it was never real,” Wright, who weighed nearly 500 pounds at the time of the incident, said during a hearing in October. “It was fantasy.”
Prosecutors, who sought a life sentence, said Wright was the ringleader of a plan to wage war on the U.S.
Wright later recruited his uncle, Ussamah Rahim, and others to join the conspiracy — his uncle received directions about the plan from Junaid Hussain, an ISIS terrorist who was later killed in an airstrike in Syria, prosecutors said.
Police killed Rahim after he tried to attack them with a knife. Wright called his uncle’s attempt to assault the officers “beautiful” when his uncle told him about the attack hours before its execution.