A Columbia man will be heading to federal prison, after admitting in a Jefferson City courtroom on Thursday that he threw a Molotov cocktail inside the Columbia Planned Parenthood facility in February.
Federal prosecutors say 42-year-old Wesley Brian Kaster faces a minimum of five years in federal prison, after pleading guilty to two counts. Kaster pleaded guilty to two counts of a superceding information. The first count is maliciously using explosive materials to damage a building owned by an organization that receives federal financial assistance. The second count is violating the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.
U.S. Attorney’s office spokesman Don Ledford tells Missourinet those two counts replaced the federal indictment, which will be dismissed at sentencing.
Kaster faces a maximum sentence of 21 years in prison. He told U.S. Magistrate Judge Willie Epps Jr. today in Jefferson City that he took the actions because Planned Parenthood provided reproductive health services at that facility.
Kaster was arrested in March, after federal agents served multiple search warrants. He admits that he made a Molotov cocktail on February 10 and threw it into the Columbia Health Center, which is operated by Planned Parenthood Great Plains. There were no injuries in the incident, which happened at about 4:10 a.m.
Federal prosecutors have said that surveillance video from Planned Parenthood and from neighboring businesses recorded Kaster starting at about 2:30 a.m. on February 10, when he placed a bucket inside the building that was later found to be filled with gasoline. After a few attempts over the next hour, prosecutors say Kaster ignited a Molotov cocktail-type device inside.
Kaster has been in federal custody, without bond, since his March 2 arrest. A sentencing date hasn’t been set yet.
The case was investigated by Columbia Police, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and by the FBI.
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