Hate on Campus

University bomber convicted in racist attack

After two bombs exploded at historically black Florida A&M University last fall, some 300 terrified students withdrew from the school, according to school officials.

Now, the man who caused the mass attrition faces the possibility of life in prison after being convicted June 26 in connection with the attacks.

Following each of the bathroom blasts, which occurred on Aug. 31 and Sept. 22 and failed to injure anyone, a man later identified as Lawrence Michael Lombardi called into local station WXTL-TV and made threatening racist statements.

Prosecutors later produced evidence that Lombardi had constructed the bombs. And there was damning testimony from co-workers, who spoke of Lombardi's frequent use of the word "nigger," and his boasts that he was "going to kill me some" black people.

Lombardi, 42, stood stone-faced as the judge delivered the verdict. Jurors found the licensed embalmer guilty of causing the explosions, carrying and using the pipe bombs that caused the explosions, and violating federal hate crime law.

He will be sentenced on September 15 — a week before the one-year anniversary of the second bombing.