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Press Release

Columbia Man Sentenced for Arson at Planned Parenthood Clinic

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A Columbia, Missouri, man was sentenced in federal court today for the arson at the Columbia Health Center (operated by Planned Parenthood Great Plains).

“This defendant’s criminal behavior placed the community in an unacceptable risk of danger,” Garrison said. “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.

“The FBI special agents on this difficult case exemplified outstanding investigative skills in locating and evaluating the evidence that enabled us to identify the arsonist and quickly bring him to justice,” Garrison added.

Wesley Brian Kaster, 43, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes to five years in federal prison without parole.

On Nov. 21, 2019, Kaster pleaded guilty to one count of maliciously using explosive materials to damage a building owned by an organization that receives federal financial assistance, and one count of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. Kaster has remained in federal custody without bond since his arrest on March 2, 2019.

Kaster admitted that he manufactured a Molotov cocktail on Feb. 10, 2019. On the same day, he broke the glass in the north entry door of the Columbia Health Center at 711 N. Providence Road and threw the Molotov cocktail into the facility. At approximately 4:10 a.m., the Columbia Fire Department arrived on the scene, investigated the damage caused by the explosive device, and collected evidence. Kaster admitted that he took these actions because Planned Parenthood provided reproductive health services at the facility.

This case was prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Oliver. It was investigated by the Columbia, Mo., Police Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and the FBI.

Updated September 2, 2020

Violent Crime