Robert Bruce, 49, was convicted of trying to blow up the home of a Pueblo, Colo. police officer and sentenced to 64 years in prison, on Friday, according to CBSDenver.
KRDO reports that Bruce was found guilty in August on two counts of attempted murder, one for the officer and one for the officer’s wife, who was home at the time of the incident. Bruce received 48 years for the first count, 16 years for the second count and 5 additional years for possession of an explosive/incendiary device. The judge ordered the last 5 years to run concurrent with the other sentences.
In 2009 Bruce tried to blow up police officer Nathan Pruce’s home to keep the officer from testifying against him in a “peeping tom” trial, according to 7News. Bruce rigged a propane tank to the officer’s garage, filling the officer’s garage with combustible fumes.
Officer Pruce wanted to address Bruce during the sentencing hearing, but was prohibited from doing so, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported. But Pruce did tell the judge that he has spent hours consoling his wife and son who were deeply affected by the attempted murder and said this during the hearing:
I’m proud to be a police officer. I’ve sworn to protect the citizens of Pueblo and of this nation from predators like Robert Howard Bruce. Now I’m asking that the court protect the protector. [Bruce] is nothing on this earth.
Bruce is suspected of being the notorious “Ether Man” serial rapist. The “peeping tom” case that led Bruce to attempt to kill police officer Pruce played a large part in the process of connecting Bruce to the notorious “Ether Man” rapes in New Mexico and Texas. The Associated Press reported back in 2010 that Bruce’s DNA was tied to a rape in Albuquerque and authorities are still trying to determine if he’s tied to more than 11 rapes over a 15 year period, between 1991 and 2006, in New Mexico and Texas.
The so-called “Ether Man” would overcome his victims with a chemically-soaked rag before he sexually assaulted them.
WATCH [via KRQE] New Mexico woman talks about close call with "Ether Man" prior to Bruce's conviction: