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Could Loewen use entrapment defense?

By Hannah Davis, hdavis@kwch.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 07:15:29 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 13 2013 10:25:12 PM CST
WICHITA, Kan. -

FBI agents arrested Terry Loewen outside of Wichita Mid-Continent Airport when he was driving a car full of what he thought were explosives.

According to the criminal complaint, Loewen talked with undercover agents for months leading up to his failed attack and arrest Friday morning.

Defense attorney Charlie O’Hara doesn’t represent Loewen, but weighed in on the issue of entrapment.

“Entrapment really originates on whether the defendant or the person charged really wanted to do something,” he said.

O’Hara says just because the FBI supplied the fake explosives doesn’t mean Loewen was set up.

“The analogy you'd use in a drug deal, if you wanted to buy drugs or you talked about buying drugs, the fact that the police offered to sell you them – well, you're still buying them because you wanted to buy them,” O’Hara said.

In the criminal complaint, Loewen is quoted as saying:

 “I have some rough ideas but I know nothing about explosives. Don’t you think with my access to the airport, that I would put that to good use? Understand, I have no experience in things like this, but I’m willing to learn. Anyway, I’m just talking right now but I still feel like I’m being led in this direction.”

“When he says ‘I'm being led in this direction,’ those words jump out, obviously,” O’Hara said. “Is is Allah leading him? Or is it an officer leading him?”

Either way, O’Hara says entrapment is a tricky defense.

“Entrapment is not a real well-liked defense by juries,” he said, “and the reason it isn't is because you're admitting you did the crime. So you're obviously guilty of the crime, but you're saying that “I wouldn’t have done it except for this and this and this.”

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