A woman accused of burning a Wyoming abortion clinic has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors
Jul 10, 2023, 4:19 PM | Updated: 5:14 pm
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A college student who authorities say admitted setting fire to a building slated to become Wyoming’s only full-service abortion clinic has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors, federal court documents showed Monday.
Details of the proposed plea deal for Lorna Roxanne Green weren’t available to the public pending a judge’s approval of the agreement.
Green, 22, pleaded not guilty to an arson charge in U.S. District Court in Cheyenne in June. Green faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The plea agreement means Green could avoid going to trial, set for July 24.
Reached by phone, Green’s attorney, Ryan Semerad, declined to comment on the plea agreement. Federal prosecutors did not immediately return an email message seeking comment Monday.
Green told investigators she opposed abortion and was experiencing anxiety and having nightmares over the Wellspring Health Access clinic that was to open in Casper, Wyoming, last year, so she decided to burn it, according to court documents.
Investigators say Green broke a window at the clinic, filled aluminum baking pans with gasoline and set it ablaze on May 25, 2022. The clinic, which had drawn anti-abortion protesters, was scheduled to open a few weeks later but was not able to begin seeing patients until April because of the fire damage.
Surveillance video released by police soon after the fire showed a masked woman in a hooded shirt inside the clinic building. But Green was not arrested until March after the reward in the case was increased to $15,000 and tipsters named her as a possible suspect.
The facility is Wyoming’s only dedicated clinic in at least a decade to offer surgical abortions. It also offers abortion pills and women’s health care, the clinic says.
Before Wellspring opened, only one other clinic in Wyoming — a women’s health center in Jackson, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) away — provided medication abortions.
Abortion remains legal in conservative Wyoming although lawmakers passed a law banning abortion except in cases of rape or incest reported to police, or when the mother’s life is in danger. However, a state judge put the ban on hold while an opposing lawsuit proceeds.
Wyoming also became the first state to pass pill ban on hold before it could take effect July 1.