Former Marine Admits Guilt in Planned Parenthood Arson CaseDecember 1, 2023
A former Marine pleaded guilty to firebombing a Planned Parenthood clinic in California. Chance Brannon, an active-duty Marine stationed at Fort Pendleton at the time of the attack, admitted to multiple charges as part of a plea deal. This included conspiracy, malicious destruction of property by fire and explosives, possession of an unregistered destructive device, and intentional damage to a reproductive health services facility. Brannon also confessed to considering attacks on other targets, including an LGBTQ pride night celebration at Dodger Stadium and the Anti-Defamation League in San Diego.
Brannon and his co-conspirator, Tibet Ergul, ignited a Molotov cocktail and threw it at the entrance of the clinic, causing damage to the front of the building. The pair also returned to the scene of the crime later and discussed plans to start a race war by attacking an electrical substation in an attempt to disrupt the power grid in Orange County.
According to the plea agreement, Brannon targeted Planned Parenthood to make a statement against abortion and intimidate its patients, staff, and doctors. This was described as a planned and concerted effort to attack the clinic in order to deter the provision of reproductive health services.
The charges Brannon pleaded guilty to carry potential sentences of five to 20 years in federal prison, as well as a maximum of 10 years for possession of an unregistered destructive device and one year for intentional damage to a reproductive health facility.
The co-conspirators also discussed targeting another clinic in the months following the initial attack, but they backed out of their plan after spotting law enforcement near the building. They were charged alongside another individual, Xavier Batten, who previously entered a not guilty plea.
The attack occurred in March 2022 and resulted in damage to the clinic, prompting the rescheduling of approximately 30 appointments. No injuries were reported.
Brannon’s guilty plea came as his two co-conspirators await trial. U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada described the attack as a deliberate effort to target the clinic based on the services it provides.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California released a statement announcing Brannon’s guilty plea.