Woman who burned down Wyoming’s only full-service abortion clinic ordered to pay $298,000


Cheyenne, Wyo. (AP) - A judge has ordered a woman who opened fire at Wyoming's only full-service abortion clinic to pay nearly $300,000 in restitution, the full amount sought by prosecutors.

Lorna Green is serving a five-year prison sentence for burning down Wellspring Health Access just weeks before the clinic was to open in Casper in 2022. A fire destroyed the building while it was being renovated for the new clinic and delayed its opening by almost a year.

after Inauguration Last April, WellSpring is now the only abortion clinic in Wyoming. A clinic providing abortion pills in Jackson closed on December 15 due to rising costs.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Alan Johnson ordered Green, 22, to pay nearly $298,000 in restitution, including $240,000 to the clinic's insurer, Nationwide General Insurance Co.

Green also must pay $33,500 to the building's owner, Christine Lichtenfels, and $24,500 to Julie Burkhart, founder and president of WellSpring Health Access. Burkhart expressed satisfaction at the restoration.

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“Not only did we face emotional conflict and trauma from the arson, but it was also quite challenging for us financially. So I'm glad this is the final piece and it's been put to rest,” Burkhart said Wednesday.

The compensation was similar to the amount sought by prosecutors and was unopposed by Greene's attorney, Ryan Semerad, who said in an emailed statement Wednesday that Greene "looks forward to a productive and peaceful life following his term of incarceration."

Green has expressed remorse for the crime, which he says was motivated by anxiety and nightmares about the planned clinic. Casper College mechanical engineering student showed no signs of anti-abortion views social media But told investigators she opposed abortion.

He admitted to driving from Laramie to Casper, breaking into the clinic through a door, and pouring gasoline into trays and onto the floor. After months of little progress, investigators increased the reward to $15,000 and received tips for Green's arrest in March.

Green pleaded Criminal Arson in June and September get Minimum prison sentence. He faced up to 20 years in prison.

The arson and eventual opening of the clinic came as new laws in Wyoming sought to ban abortion in nearly all cases. The laws, including the nation's first explicit ban on abortion pills, have been blocked by a judge amid a lawsuit filed by four women and two nonprofits, including WellSpring Health Access.

after listening Discussion In the Dec. 14 trial, Wyoming District Judge Melissa Owens is considering whether to rule on the laws. Her decision will likely be appealed, putting Wyoming's abortion laws before the state Supreme Court.

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