Casper Woman Indicted for Setting Fire to Women’s Clinic
The Casper woman who last year allegedly set fire to the Wellspring Women Health Access Clinic, which offers abortion services, has been formally indicted on one count of arson, according to federal court records.
The federal grand jury on May 17 handed up the indictment on Wednesday, charging Lorna Roxanne Green with a sole count that on May 25, 2022, she "maliciously damaged and destroyed, and attempted to damage and destroy, by means of fire a building located at 918 East Second Street, Casper, Natrona County, Wyoming which building, contents and property were used in and affected interstate commerce and were used in activities affecting interstate commerce."
Conviction of arson of a facility engaged in interstate commerce is punishable by five to 20 years imprisonment, up to a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release and a $100 special assessment.
Green previously had been named in a federal criminal complaint, a written statement of the essential facts of the offense charged. It shows that probable cause exists and the parson named in the complaint will have a warrant issued for their arrest.
She was arrested on March 21 as a result of the criminal complaint.
An indictment is a formal charge alleging a person has committed a crime. A grand jury, convened by a prosecutor, hears evidence and must decide if that is strong enough to issue an indictment.
If the grand jury hands up the indictment, the prosecution must then present evidence at trial sufficient to convict the accused beyond a reasonable doubt.
Green is scheduled to make her initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kelly Rankin in federal court in Cheyenne on June 2, where she will hear the formal charge.
She is being represented by Ryan Semerad of The Fuller Law Firm in Casper.
The arson garnered national attention.
In the March 21, 2023, criminal complaint, an agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent recounted the events of the night of the arson and the subsequent investigation.
At 3:49 a.m., May 25, 2022, Casper Fire-EMS and other agencies responded to a report from a person, who was in an apartment next door and got up to use the restroom. He heard the sound of glass breaking, looked outside his window, saw the suspect at the main entry of the clinic, saw the suspect remove a black trash bag from the window and saw she had a gas can.
He described the suspect as likely female, her clothing and her size.
The BATFE agent later spoke with the the president of Circle of Hope, doing business as Wellspring Wyoming Health Access, who said the clinic's services were OB/GYN, gender affirming care, and abortion procedures.
The clinic initially kept its abortion business secret, but it soon leaked and protests with 130-140 people began in March 2022. The protests still continue on Thursday afternoons.
The fire cause about $290,000 in damage and delayed the opening by nearly a year until
An extensive investigation began by the Casper Police Department and the FBI, but no suspect had been identified as of March.
On March 3, the police with the assistance of an anonymous donor again asked the public for any leads in the case, this time with an additional $10,000 reward for a total of $15,000.
Police received 12 leads, with four of them identifying Lorna Green as the suspect.
The BATFE agent obtained information about Green and compared her features with that of the suspect, as well as her clothing and shoes.
The BATFE, Casper police and FBI agents then executed search warrants at Green's house.
Agents interviewed Green and she stated she was the person in photos from the scene of the fire and on her Instagram account.
She has been free on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.
The clinic opened in April.