Benjamin Matthew Williams and his brother James Tyler Williams were sentenced last Friday in conjunction with the 1999 arson of three synagogues and the firebombing of Choice Medical Group, a women’s reproductive health clinic that performs abortions in Sacramento, California. Benjamin Matthew Williams received a mandatory sentence of thirty years in a federal prison, and his brother received the maximum sentence under a plea agreement of twenty-one years and three months. Benjamin Matthew Williams received a longer sentence since the court determined that he had planned the attacks. Both brothers were also ordered to pay $1 million in restitution.
The brothers will face additional charges next year in the murder of a gay couple. Prosecutors in that case will seek the death penalty. The brothers have pleaded innocent, and Benjamin Matthew Williams plans to use his belief that the Bible condemns homosexuality as his defense.