Man in terror plot: 'I'm not a criminal or a terrorist' - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Man in terror plot: 'I'm not a criminal or a terrorist'

Chris Cornell (Photo: Provided/Boone County Jail) Chris Cornell (Photo: Provided/Boone County Jail)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

In handwritten letters from behind bars, the local man convicted in a terror plot expresses regret and claims he never intended to hurt anyone. 

Christopher Cornell's defense attorneys released 29 pages of letters ahead of his sentencing hearing, hoping to convince the judge Cornell has changed and can be de-radicalized.

The Green Township man pleaded guilty to plotting an attack on the US Capitol.

"I'm not a criminal or a terrorist, I'm a kid, I don't want to be in here or feel like this," Cornell wrote to his parents and brother.

The writings are very different from what the 22-year-old said when he called FOX19 from jail in March of 2015. [Watch the interview here]

In the first letter, dated Feb. 15, 2016, he addressed that interview. 

"During the FOX19 interview, I made things up and repeated stuff I heard before. I was nervous during the interview hence the laughter. The reason why I really done the interview was because I read and seen things on the news about me said by my parents that I thought made me look like a loser so I didn't talk to them for a few days and was mad at than finally called FOX19."

Cornell wrote that he regretted the interview.

He also wrote that he made a mistake but is now "back on the right track."

"I don't want to pick up a gun but rather I want to pick up from where my life left off after high school," he wrote. "I want to go to college and become a nurse, I want to get married and have kids and take care of my family just as they done for me."

[Terror suspect Christopher Cornell: "I'm so dedicated that I risked my whole life"]

Defense attorneys are arguing that because he can be de-radicalized, he should be sentenced to 10-20 years in prison.

Prosecutors are asking that Cornell serve 30 years in prison. In a sentencing memorandum, they claimed Cornell and his father were attempting to identify an informant who helped investigators. Prosecutors also stated that Cornell exhibited "unusual" behavior while behind bars and possibly shows "a profound lack of remorse."

In other letters, Cornell said he is non-violent and did not mean any of what he did. He continued to apologize for his actions, said he's changed and that he does not want to spend the rest of his life in prison. He also updated his family on his living conditions, food, TV shows and music.

Cornell is scheduled for sentencing on Dec. 5.

Read the letters:

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