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Woman seen in Federal Court for arson of Casper abortion clinic

A woman has been arrested for allegedly setting a Casper abortion clinic on fire.

Yellow emergency tape surrounded the new Wellspring Health Access abortion clinic and other nearby buildings on Wednesday morning as Casper fire and police investigated the scene for possible vandalism and arson. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City News)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A Casper woman has been seen in Federal Court in Cheyenne for allegedly setting the Wellspring Health Access Clinic on fire in 2022.

Lorna Roxanne Green, 22, of Casper, Wyoming, has been arrested and charged by complaint with arson of a facility engaged in interstate commerce.

The defendant made her initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge Kelly H. Rankin today, March 23, at 9 a.m. in Cheyenne. Her preliminary hearing has been set for Tuesday, March 28, at 3 p.m.

The affected facility is Wellspring Health Access Clinic, which was scheduled to open on June 14, 2022. The clinic intended to offer services of OB/GYN care, gender-affirming care, and abortion procedures.

The arrest took place on March 21, 2023, in Casper, Wyoming by the Casper Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

The Casper Police Department released the following information on the case this morning.

On May 25, 2022, at about 3:49 a.m., Casper Police Department officers responded to the Wellspring Health Access Clinic in Casper, Wyoming. Officers observed smoke coming from the east side of the building and dispatched the Casper Fire Department who responded and extinguished the fire.

Through witness accounts and video surveillance, investigators identified a suspect who had gained entry by breaking a window, pouring gas in the facility, then leaving just prior to the reporting party calling in suspicious activity. On March 3, 2023, the Casper Police Department, with the assistance of an anonymous donor, issued a press release soliciting the public for leads in the case, with an additional $10,000 reward.

Shortly after that, several tipsters identified a potential suspect, which led to the filing of charges after additional investigation.

“This case demonstrates how valuable tips are from the community,” said United States Attorney Nicholas Vassallo. “Every tip received was shared with and evaluated by cooperating law enforcement partners from the Casper Police Department, FBI, and ATF. Several tips from the public and the hard work of the investigators were instrumental in identifying and arresting Lorna Green.”

“The progress we’ve made in this complicated investigation is a perfect example of the strong working relationships we have with our Federal Law Enforcement partners,” said Chief of Police Keith McPheeters. “The FBI and the ATF provided significant resources and expertise to the Casper Police Department, working hand-in-hand with our detectives and officers throughout this lengthy investigation. Importantly, our community members also assisted in bringing this investigation to this stage. We would like to thank and recognize the dedicated investigators and citizens who contributed to the investigation of this dangerous arson incident.” “

ATF Certified Fire Investigators provided expert investigative and logistical support to the Casper Police Department where they worked together in determining the origin and cause of this arson, said Acting ATF Special Agent in Charge Kirk Howard. “While established local and federal partnerships contributed greatly, we are especially grateful to the Casper community for their pivotal engagement.”

“The FBI is grateful for the relationships it maintains with local, state, federal and tribal partners,” said Denver FBI Special Agent in Charge Mark Michalek. “It cannot be stressed enough that these kinds of partnerships are integral to keeping our communities safe. We are appreciative of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Casper Police Department, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Wyoming for their collaborative work in this case.”

If convicted, Green faces a minimum of five years and up to 20 years imprisonment, up to a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. This crime is being investigated by the Casper Police Department, ATF, and FBI. A complaint merely contains allegations, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty

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