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ELF member pleads guilty to placing bomb in Pasadena condo project

January 11, 2010 |  5:08 pm

A man who admitted being a member of the radical environmental group Earth Liberation Front—  or ELF, as it’s known — pleaded guilty in federal court today to placing a gasoline-filled bomb in a Pasadena condominium project that was under construction in 2006, authorities said.

Steven James Murphy, 44, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to one count of conspiracy to commit arson.

Murphy placed the bomb in the Vista del Arroyo Bungalows project, which was being built directly under the Colorado Bridge in Pasadena, federal prosecutors said. He lighted the device  and then fled the scene; but the timer failed, so it did not ignite.

The crime remained unsolved until 2009 when investigators matched DNA extracted from the incendiary device to a sample of Murphy’s DNA in a law enforcement database. Murphy is scheduled to be sentenced April 5 and faces a maximum of five years in federal prison, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

-- Scott Glover