Crime

Affidavit: Clinic arson suspect on 'mission for unborn'

Wesley Kaster charged in Planned Parenthood fire

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The man accused of setting fire to Columbia's Planned Parenthood clinic in February apparently wrote to his wife that he was on a "mission" to protect unborn children, according to documents filed in the federal case against him.

An affidavit for a search warrant filed April 11 by FBI Special Agent Curtis Bryant quotes a jailhouse phone call between Wesley Kaster and his wife. During the conversation, Kaster's wife tells him "I really don't want to hear much more about your mission for the unborn." Bryant writes that the call indicates Kaster burned the clinic because abortions had been performed there.

Kaster was initially charged in federal court in early March for the Feb. 10 fire, which caused the clinic to close for a few days. Additional charges were filed March 22. 

Surveillance video from both the clinic and neighboring business showed Kaster on Feb. 10 parking a van near the door of the clinic, according to court documents. The video then showed him carrying a bucket to the clinic's outer door, breaking the front door, putting the bucket inside the building and throwing what resembles a Molotov cocktail inside, according to a federal affidavit.

Bryant also describes items found during the initial March 3 search of Kaster's home, including a large amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, several guns and a dish towel that had absorbed chemicals used to light fires. 

Kaster's case is currently set for trial in September. 

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