Clayton garage bombing: Milton Ohlsen III pleads guilty

7:04 PM, Sep 11, 2012   |    comments
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Milton Ohlsen.

St. Louis, MO (KSDK) - A 41-year-old local pleaded guilty Tuesday to four counts involving the Clayton garage bombing in October 2008 that injured attorney John Gillis.

A federal grand jury indicted Milton Ohlsen III in July 2011 on one felony count each of transportation of explosive with intent to injure; malicious use of an explosive device; use of destructive device to commit a crime of violence, felon in possession of an explosive; and possession of an unregistered destructive device.

Ohlsen admitted that on October 15, 2008, he brought a bomb to the Carondelet Plaza parking garage at 190 Carondelet with the intent of killing or seriously injuring attorney Rick Eisen, who was working as Ohlsen's wife's divorce attorney. Prosecutors spent three years attempting to prove that Eisen was the intended target

In a surveillance video from that date, authorities said the bomb was disguised as a gift with balloons. It was left by Gillis' car by a man in a colorful poncho. His face could not be seen.

John Gillis was seriously injured when he moved the basket because it was blocking his path to the driver's side door of his vehicle.

The charges originally carried a possible sentence of seven to 40 years in prison. As part of the plea agreement, Milton Ohlsen will be sentenced to 20 years in prison, followed by an additional five years of supervised release. Formal sentencing will take place December 13, 2012.

Ohlsen was a key figure in an election conspiracy case that resulted in a prison sentence for former Democratic State Senator Jeff Smith in 2009. Ohlsen was not charged in that case but served time in federal prison on gun possession and mortgage fraud convictions. Upon his release in February, he was transferred to state prison for assault, theft and weapons convictions.


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