A woman suspected of burning down an abortion clinic in Wyoming was released from jail before her trial, despite confessing to the crime.
On May 25, 2022, police responded to the Wellspring Health Access Clinic in Casper, Wyoming around 3.49am after receiving a report of ‘suspicious activity’ at the facility.
They arrived to find smoke coming from the clinic, and immediately called for assistance from the Casper Fire Department.
After reviewing surveillance footage, police identified a suspect breaking into the clinic through a window, pouring gasoline around the premises, then leaving around the same time the suspicious activity report was placed.
It took local and federal investigators nearly a year and the offer of a $15,000 reward to find the suspect.
Earlier this month, tipsters identified a possible suspect as Lorna Roxanne Green, a 22-year-old college student and food delivery driver.
When investigators questioned Green, she admitted to setting the blaze. She claimed she was suffering from ‘nightmares,’ which she said was due to ‘anxiety’ about the abortion clinic.
Green was arrested on March 22 and charged with arson of a facility engaged in interstate commerce. If Green is convicted, she faces between 5 to 20 years in prison, as well as a fine up to $250,000.
Magistrate Judge Stephanie Hambrick agreed that the ‘weight of the evidence’ against Green was strong, but still ordered her release pending her trial.
‘Lorna’s family and I are pleased she’s being released and we look forward to addressing the charge against her in future proceedings,’ her attorney Ryan Semerad stated after the hearing.
Green will be required to live at her parents home, who were also ordered to remove all firearms from their property.
She was not required to post bail, but will need to pay a $10,000 fee for violating bond conditions.
The Wellspring Health Access is a women’s health clinic and abortion provider dedicated to serving ‘abortion deserts.’ Its location was strategically chosen to serve other states with few abortion clinics, including Nebraska, South Dakota, and Montana.
The Casper facility was slated to open in June 2022, but its opening was delayed until 2023 due to the fire.
Its status remains unknown after Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon signed a broad abortion ban into law earlier this month. However, Teton County District Court Judge Melissa Owens has since halted implementation of the Republican-controlled legislature’s ban.
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