Jacksonville resident Jason Woodring, 38, whose meth and Nostradamus-inspired attacks on the Arkansas power grid I wrote about in a cover story last year, was sentenced to 15 years in prison yesterday, having plead guilty in March to federal charges including destruction of an energy facility, setting fire to a power station, using fire to commit a felony and possession of firearms, ammunition and drugs. He will also be required to pay $4,792,224.06 to Entergy and $48,729.39 to First Electric Cooperative for damage to various downed power lines in 2013.
In federal court yesterday, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Linda Satter, Woodring finally addressed his actions. “We live in uncertain times,” he is quoted as saying. “I’ve talked to a lot of people in the last 15 years from all walks of life … Black, white, rich, poor, male, female. The consensus seems to be that things are getting worse in society.” After his infant son’s death in 2007: “I kind of stepped back and tried to find ways to make things better. … I started to show people what I was learning, and get them involved … but everybody was too busy with these distractions. I got frustrated trying to get everybody’s attention. I thought that if I could take the power out, it would take away all these things that distract people … and we could all listen to what’s really important.”
“When I went up there on that 500,000-volt power line,” he said, “I actually thought I was going to be helping people.”
Woodring will appear in Pulaski County Circuit Court June 29 to face two state charges of first-degree criminal mischief and in Lonoke County Circuit Court next Wednesday to answer to drug and gun charges.