A Columbia man is charged in federal court with the February 10 arson at the Columbia Health Center, operated by Planned Parenthood Great Plains.
Wesley Brian Kaster, 42, faces one count of maliciously damaging a building, owned by an organization the receives federal financial assistance, by means of fire or an explosive.
Kaster, who was arrested on Saturday, March 2, 2019, remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing on Thursday, March 7, 2019.
Federal prosecutors say surveillance video from Planned Parenthood and from neighboring businesses recorded Kaster beginning at about 2:30 a.m. on February 10, when he allegedly broke the front door, placed a bucket inside the building that was later found to be filled with gasoline. After a couple of attempts over the next hour, and he allegedly ignited a Molotov cocktail-type device inside.
According to a news release from the office of U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, Timothy A. Garrison:
Investigators contacted Kaster’s employer, a light manufacturing business in Jefferson City, where he works as a floor supervisor in the welding shop. According to the affidavit, Kaster had acquired a pair of Ansell HyFlex gloves, which are cut and abrasion resistant, which were the same make, model, color and size gloves recovered from the Planned Parenthood building.
Investigators searched social media accounts connected to Kaster. On Oct. 25, 2015, a picture was posted to the Facebook page of Kaster’s wife depicting a handgun and the words, “Guns Don’t Kill People, Planned Parenthood Kills People.”
Multiple federal search warrants were executed on Saturday, March 2, 2019. Investigators searched Kaster’s minivan a few minutes after he left his workplace that morning and took Kaster to obtain hair specimens. Investigators searched Kaster’s residence, the affidavit says, where numerous items of evidence were collected that definitively tied Kaster to the crime scene at Planned Parenthood.