NATIONAL NEWS

Florida man sentenced to 3 years in prison for firebombing California Planned Parenthood clinic

May 13, 2024, 6:47 PM

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A 21-year-old Florida man was sentenced Monday to three and a half years in prison for firebombing a Southern California Planned Parenthood clinic in 2022, federal prosecutors said.

Xavier Batten pleaded guilty in January to one felony count of possessing an unregistered destructive device and one misdemeanor count of intentionally damaging a reproductive health services facility.

U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney also sentenced Batten, of Brooksville, Florida, to three years of probation and ordered him to pay $1,000 in restitution, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

Carney said Batten had committed a “cowardly crime” that showed “no empathy for women and their rights,” according to the statement. He has been in federal custody since July 2023.

The clinic in Costa Mesa was bombed on March 13, 2022. Surveillance footage showed two men throwing a Molotov cocktail at the front door of the medical facility. The clinic was closed at the time and no one was injured.

A co-defendant, 24-year-old Chance Brannon, was sentenced last month to nine years in prison. Brannon, of San Juan Capistrano, California, was an active-duty Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton at the time of the bombing.

Another co-defendant, Tibet Ergul, has pleaded guilty to the charges against him. He is scheduled to be sentenced May 30.

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Florida man sentenced to 3 years in prison for firebombing California Planned Parenthood clinic