News Violence

Wisconsin Clinic Arsonist Found Guilty

Robin Marty

Francis Grady was found guilty of federal arson.

Francis Grady, the man who tried to burn down a Planned Parenthood clinic in Wisconsin, was found guilty of federal arson. Although Francis Grady eagerly stated during arraignment that he burned the clinic because “they kill babies there,” he was less open about the act once the trial began. However, Grady eventually confessed during the trial as the evidence was presented, and it took the jury only 30 minutes to find him guilty.

Via Fox News:

Ultimately Grady says he set the fire to “release the souls of the children,” killed through abortions.

Grady testified he’d “thought of those poor children for years.” He said it was a spur-of-the-moment decision to spark the fire. He said it came to him the afternoon of April 1, while at his friend’s house.

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Grady said he had a mixed drink of vodka and lemonade, but he was not intoxicated at the time of the arson.

That friend, Daniel Wolf, testified Grady “wasn’t himself” while the two were drinking. He says Grady mentioned Planned Parenthood, saying he “wanted to blow it up.” The friend testified Grady had never before mentioned Planned Parenthood or a pro-life agenda, and was generally “a good guy.” The friend said Grady tried taking gas can from his garage before leaving his house, but the friend removed the can from Grady’s van.

This same friend said he called Grand Chute police the next morning after seeing media coverage on the Planned Parenthood fire. He told the court Monday, “It was just too big of a coincidence.”

Earlier in the afternoon, the prosecution showed videotape of this interview, in which Grady told the investigators, “I lit the clinic up. Just a little bit. There ain’t no damage to it.”

Grady will be sentanced in the fall, and could face up to 21 years in prison.

This instance of terrorism at a Wisconsin clinic was the second of four fires to occur at reproductive health clinics in 2012. The first, on New Year’s Day, was set in Florida. Two subsequent clinics in Georgia have since been victims of arsonists; the  suspect still at large.

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