One of three Maryland men charged with conspiring to bomb 10 abortion clinics and related facilities in the Washington area testified today that Michael Donald Bray joined him on two bombing missions and provided sketches of clinics or other support in eight other attacks.
"Before God we both felt committed that we had to we had to do all we could to save as many children as we could" by destroying "death camps where human beings were being slaughtered," Thomas E. Spinks testified on the second day of Bray's trial in federal court here.
Spinks, a 37-year-old roofer from Laurel who pleaded guilty earlier this month to one count each of conspiracy and malicious destruction in the blasts, carried a Bible with him to the witness stand and quoted scripture in defense of his antiabortion activities, which he said reflected the will of God.
But Bray's lawyer, Robert Muse, had Spinks read from letters he wrote while in the Baltimore jail to Bray's family and friends in which discussed his fear of spending "the rest of my natural life" in prison, described himself as a "one-man Army of God," and said Bray was "blameless of any wrongdoing."
"Unless I were to lie about Bray's role , I don't think the government really has a case against him," Spinks wrote in one letter.
Under cross-examination by Muse, Spinks testified, "I lied to all these people . . . but I can't lie in court."
Bray, 32, a house painter and lay copastor at Grace Reformation Lutheran Church in Bowie, has pleaded not guilty to the two counts of conspiracy and three counts of obtaining material for destructive devices. A third man, Kenneth William Shields, 34, of Laurel, is scheduled to stand trial June 3.
Wearing a lapel pin depicting the feet of a 10-week-old fetus, Bray said outside the courtroom that he was "just disappointed" that Spinks, a former friend, had decided to testify against him.
Spinks, who met Bray through their church, said the men began an intensive discussion of their antiabortion views after he hired Bray to work for his roofing company. He said they decided that destroying clinics was justified in order to stop abortions.
He said Bray accompanied him to the first two clinics that were attacked -- the Reproductive Care Center in Dover, Del., firebombed on Jan. 14, 1984, and the Hillcrest Clinic in Norfolk, bombed on Feb. 17, 1984.
After those attacks, he said, Bray decided he wanted to take a less active role in the bombings until the church he had founded became better established.
"He would give me information about abortion clinics," said Spinks, who described teaching himself to make the bombs. "He would support and encourage me in what I did. He would pray for me; I needed it."
Bray, who drove his yellow Honda to the Dover clinic, skidded into another car on the icy roads on the way there, Spinks said. "On the way back, we were both very nervous," Spinks said. "We talked about would we get caught, should Mike sell his car . . . . Further on, we talked about the possibility of hitting the next place."
At the Norfolk clinic, he said, the men set their bomb, rigged with a Sunbeam kitchen timer and a nine-volt battery, along with a sign saying "AOG," for Army of God, and drove to a local restaurant to wait for the explosion.
When they didn't hear anything, Spinks testified, the men became nervous that a bystander might be injured and drove back by the bank building in which the clinic was located, where they saw smoke and police cars.
"If I was still anonymous, I'd still be out there doing what I was doing," Spinks said. "But evidently it is not the will of God, so here I am."