NATIONAL NEWS

Man pleads guilty to firebombing Wisconsin anti-abortion group office in 2022

Nov 21, 2023, 10:43 AM

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A man accused of firebombing an anti-abortion office in Wisconsin last year has pleaded guilty to a federal charge of damaging property with explosives.

Online court records show Hridindu Roychowdhury, of Madison, entered the plea Monday in the Western District of Wisconsin. He will face up to 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced on Dec. 1, but prosecutors have agreed to recommend the judge reduce his sentence because he has accepted responsibility for the crime.

According to court documents, someone broke a window at the Madison office of Wisconsin Family Action on May 8, 2022, six days after news outlets reported that the U.S. Supreme Court was set to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

The reports sparked abortion rights supporters to mount protests across the country. Two Catholic churches in Colorado were vandalized in the days leading up to the Madison firebombing. And someone threw Molotov cocktails into an anti-abortion organization’s office in a suburb of Salem, Oregon, several days later.

The U.S. Supreme Court did indeed overturn Roe v. Wade a little more than a month later, putting Wisconsin’s 1849 ban on abortion back in play. A Dane County judge this past August ruled that the state’s ban doesn’t apply to medical abortions, prompting Planned Parenthood to resume offering abortions in the state weeks later.

Someone threw two Molotov cocktails through the broken window, setting a book case on fire, and spraypainted “If abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either” on the office’s outside wall.

Firefighters extinguished the fire. Investigators pulled Roychowdhury’s DNA as well as two other people’s DNA from the Molotov cocktails and the broken window. DNA that investigators pulled from a half-eaten burrito that Roychowdhury threw away matched one of the profiles. Court documents do not say whether investigators have used the two unknown DNA profiles to identify anyone.

Police arrested Roychowdhury at Boston International Airport in March 2023. He had a one-way ticket to Guatemala, according to prosecutors.

Roychowdhury’s attorneys, Joseph Bugni and Alex Vlisides, didn’t immediately respond to an email Tuesday seeking comment.

National News

Associated Press

Stock market today: Asian shares fall after Wall St ends worst week; Biden withdraw from 2024 race

Asian stocks were mostly lower Monday after President Joe Biden exited the 2024 race. The downbeat start to the week followed losses Friday on Wall Street as businesses around the world scrambled to contain disruptions from a massive technology outage. U.S. futures were little changed and oil prices rose. Biden announced his withdrawal from the […]

1 hour ago

FILE - San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris poses for a portrait in San Francisco, June 18...

Associated Press

Vice President Kamala Harris leads list of contenders for spots on the Democratic ticket

President Joe Biden’s decision to step down as the Democratic Party’s nominee for president opens the door for other contenders to become the Democratic nominee in November. The president has thrown his support behind Vice President Kamala Harris, and other prominent Democrats moved quickly to rally around her candidacy, but it’s unclear just how smooth […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Alaska police and US Coast Guard searching for missing plane with 3 people onboard

Alaska authorities are conducting a search for a missing airplane with three people onboard. Alaska State Troopers received a report from the U.S. Coast Guard of a missing plane shortly before 7:30 p.m. Saturday, the state Department of Public Safety said in a statement. The single-propeller, 1948 Beach Craft Bonanza was flying near Mount Crillon […]

2 hours ago

Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, arrives to speak at a campaign event ...

Associated Press

JD Vance makes solo debut as GOP vice presidential candidate with Monday rallies in Virginia, Ohio

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) — To move overnight to set up Monday rally. Republican JD Vance will make his first solo appearances on the campaign trail Monday, a day after the 2024 presidential race was thrown into upheaval as President Joe Biden dropped out of the race, making the Democratic candidate an open question. Vance, an […]

2 hours ago

FILE - Vice President Kamala Harris, left, and President Joe Biden arrive for an event in the East ...

Associated Press

Takeaways from a day that fundamentally changed the presidential race

President Joe Biden’s abrupt decision to bow out of the presidential race and endorse Vice President Kamala Harris to be the Democratic candidate against former President Donald Trump caused a political earthquake on Sunday. It also changes the contours of a presidential race — which most voters said they did not want to see — […]

2 hours ago

FILE - Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif. is seen on Capitol Hill, Jan. 10, 2017, in Washington. She's al...

Associated Press

Harris looks to lock up Democratic nomination after Biden steps aside, reordering 2024 race

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris moved swiftly to lock up Democratic delegates behind her campaign for the White House after President Joe Biden stepped aside amid concerns from within their own party that he would be unable to defeat Donald Trump. Biden’s exit Sunday, prompted by Democratic worries over his fitness for office, […]

2 hours ago

Man pleads guilty to firebombing Wisconsin anti-abortion group office in 2022