Los Angeles/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 16, 2024
Ex-Marine Gets 9-Year Sentence for Planned Parenthood Firebombing in Costa MesaSource: U.S. Courts

A former Marine was slammed with a nine-year prison sentence for hatching and carrying out a violent attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Costa Mesa. The 24-year-old Chance Brannon from San Juan Capistrano was convicted for the 2022 firebombing and had also plotted further mayhem, including plans to strike the Orange County power grid and target Jewish homes, the Justice Department reported.

According to the authorities, Brannon, stationed at Camp Pendleton at the time of his crimes, and his co-defendants conspired to unleash violence to spur a race war. The man pled guilty to multiple charges, including conspiracy and malicious destruction of property by fire and explosives. United States District Judge Cormac J. Carney condemned the act as "cruel and indefensible domestic terrorism."

Throwing the proverbial book at Brannon, Judge Carney mandated that he cough up $1,000 in restitution. Brannon's hateful campaign didn’t end with the attack; he was also caught plotting to hit an electrical substation in a bid to disrupt Orange County's power and had his sights set on spying for foreign adversaries. Martin Estrada, U.S. Attorney, stated that Brannon's "deep-seated hatred led him to commit a firebombing and plan many other acts of violence, including starting a race war," as obtained by the Justice Department's press release.

During the wee hours of March 13, 2022, Brannon and Tibet Ergul tossed a Molotov cocktail at a Planned Parenthood clinic, sparking fear and flames. The bold arson attempt was part of a broader extremist agenda; the duo even returned to survey the damage they had done. Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke noted that this assault was "designed to terrorize patients seeking reproductive healthcare and the people who provide it." The defendant’s chilling inventory also included a rifle inscribed in Cyrillic with the words "Total [N-word] Death," and they had grim ambitions to mark Dodger Stadium on an LGBTQ+ pride night with destruction.

Prosecutors painted a picture of a man swayed by neo-Nazi ideology, frequently exchanging "88" greetings with associates – a known code for "Heil Hitler." They also detailed his intent to target Jewish residents in Hollywood Hills, which he planned just prior to his arrest. Brannon, along with his accomplices Batten and Ergul, who have already pleaded guilty, were ultimately snagged by the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, with backup from local first responders.

With this latest development, the long arm of the law has firmly clamped down on a would-be race war provocateur. Assistant United States Attorney Kathrynne N. Seiden, tasked with prosecuting the case, aims to ensure that the force of justice deters any who harbor similar violent, hate-fueled aspirations.