A man from mid-Missouri’s Columbia has been sentenced to five years in federal prison, for throwing a Molotov cocktail into Columbia’s Planned Parenthood clinic in early 2019.
43-year-old Wesley Brian Kaster pleaded guilty in November to two counts: maliciously using explosive materials to damage a building owned by an organization that receives federal financial assistance, and violating the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.
“This defendant’s (Kaster) criminal behavior placed the community in an unacceptable risk of danger. We will not tolerate the use of violence and arson as a means to achieve personal political or policy goals. This attack is the antithesis of everything for which the best ideals of this nation have always stood,” U.S. Attorney Timothy Garrison said, in a written statement.
Kaster was sentenced today in Jefferson City by U.S. District Judge Brian Wimes. There is no parole in the federal system, so Kaster must serve the entire five-year sentence.
Kaster faced a maximum sentence of 21 years in federal prison. He told U.S. Magistrate Judge Willie Epps Jr. in November that he took the actions because Planned Parenthood provided reproductive health services at that facility.
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, 2019, when he placed a bucket inside the building that was later found to be to filled with gasoline. After a few attempts during the next hour, prosecutors say Kaster ignited a Molotov cocktail-type device inside.
The incident happened at the Planned Parenthood clinic on North Providence Road in Columbia.
Kaster has been in federal custody since his March 2019 arrest.
The Columbia Police Department, Missouri State Highway Patrol and FBI investigated the case.
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