A former paramedic in a tiny Texas town devastated by a fertilizer plant explosion was sentenced to 21 months after pleading guilty in an unrelated pipe bomb case.
Bryce Reed was sentenced Wednesday in Waco, where he faced a maximum of 25 years in prison, 5 years for the charge of making the pipe bomb and 20 years for trying to hid it and obstruction of justice.
Federal authorities arrested Reed a few weeks after the deadly April 17 blast in West and accused him of trying to hide components of a pipe bomb. Authorities have not linked Reed to the blast, which killed 15 people.
With regard to the pipe bomb, Investigators said Reed searched the Internet for information on explosives and ordered ingredients to make an explosive. Reed pleaded guilty in October to conspiring to make an unregistered firearm and attempting to obstruct justice.
During an emotional speech in the courtroom, Reed cried and asked for a chance to restart his life. He repeatedly apologized for collecting a metal pipe and chemicals that could be made into an explosive.
"There's nothing I can say to repair my life," Reed said Wednesday as his mother, stepfather and siblings watched from the gallery.
He added that he loved West, but would never return because of the stigma of the explosion and his name.
"I can't tell you what it's like to have your face associated with the worst day of your life, and to be blamed for something that you didn't do," Reed told The Associated Press. "I lost my job. I lost my town ... I lost my wife, and she took my kid. And that was all in a 4-day period."
Reed was sentenced to 21 months on each count, to run concurrently, after which he'll also have 3 years of supervised release.
His attorney, Jonathan Sibley, has said Reed had no intentions of harming anyone.
NBC 5 DFW's Ray Villeda contributed to this report.