(NationalUSNews.com) — A former United States marine pleaded guilty to firebombing a Planned Parenthood clinic in Southern California and faces decades in prison for the offense. According to the marine, he didn’t act alone and planned on committing additional attacks on other businesses in Southern California.
Prosecutors alleged that Chance Brannon, a 23-year-old Marine from Camp Pendleton, and two co-conspirators threw a Molotov cocktail into a Planned Parenthood in an attempt to burn the clinic down. Authorities claimed that the three quickly fled the scene of the firebombing but returned for unknown reasons two hours later. Security cameras caught the attack on tape, providing investigators with solid evidence against Brannon and his alleged co-conspirators, Tibet Ergul and Xavier Batten.
Brannon initially pleaded not guilty in federal court for the firebombing but is now pleading guilty to multiple felony offenses. Brannon pleaded guilty to intentional damage to a reproductive health clinic and malicious destruction of property by using fire and explosives. Brannon also admitted to planning attacks on other locations with his co-conspirators.
According to Brannon, the three attackers intended to attack other locations, including an Edison substation in Southern California and an LGTBQ event hosted at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Prosecutors claim that Brannon’s failed firebombing of the Planned Parenthood clinic stemmed from a disdain for women. Prosecutors also claim that Ergul shared pictures of his gloved hand holding the Molotov cocktail with friends, seemingly admitting to the firebombing.
Immediately after the three attacked the Planned Parenthood clinic, the Federal Bureau of Investigation began offering rewards for any information about potential suspects. An associate of Ergul, who received photos from the suspected firebomber, shared information with the FBI and showed them text message communications. Following the witness’ disclosure of messages, investigators looked into Ergul’s potential involvement with the firebombing.
Although Brannon pleaded guilty to the offense and now awaits his sentencing, Ergul and Batten are still awaiting trial. The two pleaded not guilty to the firebombing and will stand trial for their alleged involvement in the firebombing in March. Brannon’s sentencing hearing will take place in April, with Brannon facing up to four decades in prison for his involvement in the firebombing.
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