A Portland woman who was born into the anti-abortion movement as the daughter of ultra-radical Rachelle Shannon, has been sentenced in federal court to almost four years in prison for threatening the life of a Wisconsin physician.
The sentence for Angela Dawn Shannon was pronounced Thursday.
The sentencing hearing included defense attorney Kevin Clymo’s impassioned plea for mercy and Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner’s indignant call for maximum punishment.
U.S. District Judge Milton Schwartz’s acknowledged that imposing the 46-month prison term was “an exceptionally difficult thing to do.”
At the end of a nine-day trial in June, a jury found Shannon guilty of sending a letter to a Milwaukee abortion clinic doctor, George Woodward, threatening to “hunt you down like any other wild beast and kill you” if he did not stop performing abortions.
At her sentencing hearing, the judge also ordered her to pay restitution of $6,048 to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin to cover the cost of security measures implemented after delivery of the letter on March 3, 1993.
After her release, 22-year-old Shannon will be supervised by probation authorities for three years, during which she must stay away from abortion clinics.
The judge recommended that Shannon be incarcerated at a women’s facility near Spokane, and ordered her to surrender Feb. 6.
Clymo told Schwartz that he will file a motion before then asking that imprisonment be stayed pending resolution of an appeal.
Mother and daughter both testified that Rachelle Shannon gave Angela Shannon the sealed envelope while they were on a stop-over in Sacramento, but did not describe its contents. Angela Shannon said that she in turn gave it to a friend, who testified that he mailed it in Stockton.
On Thursday, however, Schwartz made a formal finding that Angela Shannon perjured herself, and he upped her sentence because of that.
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