By Val Walton / The Birmingham News
Eric Robert Rudolph, minutes after he knew he was linked to a January 1998 abortion clinic bombing, bought a fast-food dinner and stocked up on supplies as he prepared to hide from law officers in Murphy, N.C., prosecutors said in court filings.
One day after the bombing on Birmingham’s Southside, Rudolph learned through news coverage that he had been linked to the blast that killed an off-duty police officer and seriously injured a clinic nurse. Less than an hour later he was eating a Burger King dinner; 15 minutes later he headed to a supermarket and bought 14 containers of oatmeal, nine cans of green beans, seven packs of batteries, eight containers of nuts, eight cans of tuna fish, soap, and eight containers of raisins.
Federal prosecutors outlined his actions in a filing as they try to show that evidence seized during searches of Rudolph’s property should be used against him. They contend he gave up any rights to privacy when he fled into the North Carolina wilderness.
“A reasonable person can conclude that Rudolph heard that law enforcement was looking for him in connection with the bombing, and he was buying his last supplies before he fled,” the filing said. “Rudolph then slipped out into the mountain wilderness surrounding Murphy, and would remain hiding there for more than five years.”
Rudolph’s attorneys want a judge to bar from his May 2005 trial any evidence seized through several search warrants used to comb Rudolph’s mobile home and a storage shed. They contend the search warrants were too general and violated his right to be protected from unreasonable search and seizure.
Prosecutors outline how the warrants were obtained through federal judges while agents set up surveillance at Rudolph’s trailer and the shed he rented.
Prosecutors said they intend to introduce at his trial items that fall within the scope of the search warrants, including two sales receipt that show the purchase of gloves, wooden dowels and other items known to be used in constructing bombs. The filing say prosecutors also intend to introduce a black Bible, covered with handwritten notes and scribblings, as well as 24 books, three Duncan Oil sales receipts, guns, daggers, bayonets and $1,600 cash.
The filing said the name on the Duncan Oil account closely resembled an alias used by Rudolph.
The filing said Rudolph came out of the woods July 7, 1998, and made an unannounced visit to the home of G.N., an acquaintance. The filing does not identify G.N.
George Nordmann had reported Rudolph’s visit and said the fugitive had been living on 500 calories a day and needed to gain some weight.
Rudolph also told G.N. that before he fled he had hatched a plan in case he needed to evade officers, the filing said. Rudolph told G.N. that he had provided false information about where he would hide in the mountains to one of his friends, identified as R.C., because he believed R.C. would supply this information to authorities.
Rudolph said he believed his plan was working because he understood R.C. was feeding the information to a deputy.
Five years later, Rudolph was arrested by Murphy police after he was spotted, dressed in a camouflage jacket and gray jogging shoes, crouching in an alley near the back of a grocery store loading dock. He initially told officers he was a homeless man from Ohio who was hungry and looking for food.
Posted by Editor at October 7, 2004 05:20 PM