Feds Arrest Casper Woman for Burning Women’s Health Clinic
The Wyoming U.S. Attorney's Office has requested an arrest warrant for a Casper woman accused of setting fire to the Wellspring Wyoming Health Access Clinic in May.
"[Lorna] Green stated she did not like abortion and was having nightmares which she attributed to her anxiety about the abortion clinic, so she decided to burn the building," an agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives wrote in an affidavit.
Lorna Roxanne Green is charged with arson of a facility engaged in interstate commerce, which is punishable by between five years and 20 years imprisonment, according to the affidavit filed in federal court on Tuesday.
Green will make her initial appearance to hear the charge at 9 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kelly Rankin at 9 a.m. Thursday.
The government has filed a motion for pre-trial detention, saying she is accused of committing a crime of violence, there is a serious risk that she will flee, and for the safety of the community.
She is being represented by Casper attorney Ryan Semerad.
In the criminal complaint, the BATFE agent recounted the events of the night of the arson and the subsequent investigation.
At 3:49 a.m., May 25, 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.
The suspect then walked north to the parking lot with the can and bag, put down the items, and then saw the suspect carrying the bag from its top with two hands.
The suspect walked down the alley.
The reporting person lost sight of them.
He described the suspect as likely female, described her clothing and her size as between five-feet, five-inches to five-feet, eight inches tall, about 120 to 140 pounds and small or slender.
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, she said.
She added that she and the clinic had been receiving vaguely threatening and hateful messages.
The president had been in the building earlier that day, and renovations included installing security cameras.
An extensive investigation began by the Casper Police Department and the FBI.
Research included revisiting videos from the cameras that evening, and some of that footage showed the suspect in an unknown light-colored passenger car, her movements, throwing a rock and carrying two bags to a window.
The suspect left a gas can at the scene.
No suspect had been identified as of March.
But on March 3, the Casper Police Department 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. Some leads mentioned her by name and that her face hairline and clothing were similar to 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.
On Tuesday, BATFE, Casper police and FBI agents 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.
Green told law enforcement she knew the clinic would offer abortion services.
She was in Laramie last May and went to the Wal-Mart there and bought gas cans and aluminum pans, which she loaded in her 2007 beige Toyota Corolla.
Green drove directly to the clinic.
It was dark when she arrived, put the cans and pans into a Hefty bag, which she carried to the clinic.
She threw a rock twice at the door, causing the glass to break.
Green went inside, placed the pans around the building, poured gas in them and on the floor.
She lit the gas in one room and intended to light the other pans, but the fire spread too quickly and she left, but not before slipping on some of the gas.
Green took one of the cans with her, went to her car and drove to Laramie without stopping and believes she arrived around dawn.
She threw away her pants but kept her dark hoody and pink shirt, which she washed repeatedly to remove the smell of gas. She also showered to remove the smell from her body.