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Nuclear protesters seek release before sentencing

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- An elderly nun and two other nuclear protesters convicted of breaking into the Y-12 National Security Complex and defacing the walls of a uranium processing plant are seeking release from jail as they await sentencing.

Eighty-three-year-old Sister Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed (bohr-CHEE' OH-bed') were convicted Wednesday in federal court in Knoxville of interfering with national security damaging federal property.

The trio appeared in court Thursday in handcuffs and leg irons. Their attorneys urged U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar to release them while they await their Sept. 23 sentencing. A ruling could come next week. They face several years in prison.

Thapar also set July 29 as the deadline for legal filings on a motion to throw out the more serious charge that carries a maximum 20-year sentence.