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Martin Kimber enters guilty plea

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Albany/HV: Martin Kimber enters guilty plea
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The Ulster County man who police say brought mercury to Albany Medical Center's cafeteria earlier this year has pleaded guilty to several charges. Erin Connolly has more.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Shackled and wearing a yellow jump suit, Martin Kimber, 60, was escorted into the Federal Courthouse in Albany Thursday morning. Inside, he pled guilty to all three charges against him: Use of a chemical weapon, possession of a chemical weapon and consumer product tampering.

James Long, Kimber's attorney, said, "Mr. Kimber was willing to accept responsibility for the mistake he made. His life had been spiraling out of control between alcohol abuse and depression and living alone."

On four separate occasions, starting in 2011, Kimber placed mercury in various places in Albany Medical Center. The last known incident took place in March, when he put the chemical in the hospital’s cafeteria in the toaster and on chicken tenders. EZ pass records and surveillance video placed Kimber at the scene.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Benedict said, "The U.S. was and remains confident had a trial been necessary, we would have readily been able to prove our case."

Kimber had received medical care from Albany Med in 2010, but was upset about the bill he received. His attorney says Kimber didn't intend to hurt anyone and he just wanted to embarrass the hospital.

Long said, "He's living proof that two wrongs don't make a right. The hospital did nothing for him when he was treated and then sent him a bill for over $9,000 and he just lost it."

Benedict said, "What he was endeavoring to do was cause panic at the hospital so individuals would be afraid of getting treatment there and stop coming."

During a subsequent search of Kimber's home and car, detectives found two canisters of mercury, 21 guns and ammunition, Nazi memorabilia and literature reflecting sympathy for domestic terrorism.

Long said, "The way he has been characterized is unfair. He was compared to Tim McVeigh, which is absurd, simply because he had a book ‘The Turner Diaries.’ I have the book in my law office and if any of you haven't read it, you should. It’s about what McVeigh is about and doesn't mean that's what Kimber is about."

Benedict said, "I certainly feel citizens should take a breath of relief that he's locked away. He has been locked away and my expectation is he will continue to be for a long period."

Kimber had been a pharmacist at Vassar Brothers Medical Center. He is not married and has no children. His sentencing is scheduled for March 7th.

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