A Texas woman was sentenced to 10 years in prison this week for sending homemade bombs to then-President Barack Obama and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in 2016, KHOU reported.
Julia Poff, 48, pleaded guilty in July to the transportation of explosives with the intent to kill, injure and intimidate a person. In addition to Obama and Abbott, Poff also sent a bomb to then-Acting Social Security Administrator Carolyn Colvin.
Investigators tracked her down in part by linking cat hair found beneath an address label on one of the packages to her cat.
The packages mailed to Obama and Colvin were intercepted during screening. Abbott, however, opened the package addressed to him and was spared from “severe burns and death” because he didn’t open it “as intended,” authorities said, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore handed down the sentence on Monday, adding three years of supervised release at the end of the 10 years. She was also ordered to pay $9,700 in restitution.
Poff told Gilmore before the sentencing that her family regularly helps people in need and quoted bible verses until the judge told her to stop, the Houston Chronicle reported.
“Talk to me, don’t be reading me Bible verses,” Gilmore said. “I need to understand why you’re saying you’ve done good for so many people and how that squares with the fact that you made bombs and sent them … with the intent to kill.”
At that point, Poff began crying and denied sending the bombs, despite her guilty plea, the Chronicle said.
“I don’t know what we’re doing here. We had nothing to do with this. We did not do this,” she said.
CrimeOnline previously reported that Poff sent a bomb to Abbott because “she had not received support from her ex-husband,” to Colvin because she had recently been denied disability benefits, and to Obama because she didn’t like him.
The shoddy workmanship on the D.C.-bound package supposedly led to Poff’s arrest. Upon diverting the package, agents located cat hairs — which they determined to be “microscopically consistent” with one of the suspect’s pets, authorities reported. Agents also linked her to the crime by analyzing damaged shipping labels.
Authorities said Poff used a salad dressing cap from a bottle used for an anniversary dinner, volatile black powder, and pyrotechnic powder to craft the bomb she sent to Abbott. Additionally, Poff’s daughter identified the cell phone found in one of the packages as her old phone, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas said.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Here is a related episode.
[Feature Photo: Julia Poff/Police handout]