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Columbia man expected to plead guilty in Planned Parenthood arson case

Wesley Kaster
Wesley Brian Kaster, 42, of Columbia.


A Columbia man charged in March after a fire at a Planned Parenthood clinic has agreed to plead guilty, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Federal public defender Troy Stabenow said Wesley Kaster will plead guilty to one misdemeanor and one felony. Federal prosecutors charged him with one count of setting fire to a building owned by an organization that receives federal assistance.

Authorities arrested Kaster in connection with a February fire at Columbia's Planned Parenthood clinic. Authorities allege Kaster could be seen on surveillance video breaking glass on a door and putting a bucket inside, then throwing a Molotov cocktail into the building and leaving. He later returned with an object in his hand before smoke could be seen billowing out of the building, federal authorities claimed.

Investigators found a bucket with gasoline inside the building after the fire, authorities say. The fire caused the clinic to temporarily close.

Court documents say Kaster later wrote to his wife that he was on a "mission" to protect the unborn. The clinic stopped performing abortions last year.

A change of plea hearing in Kaster's case has not been scheduled.

Article Topic Follows: Crime
abortion clinic fire
planned parenthood

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Matthew Sanders

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