Man Pleads Guilty to Firebombing Wisconsin Pro-Life Office, Could Face Reduced Sentence
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A Madison, Wisconsin man pleaded guilty Friday to firebombing the office of a prominent pro-life group's building last year.
Hridindu Roychowdhury, 29, admitted to throwing two Molotov cocktails through the window of Wisconsin Family Action's Madison office on May 8, 2022, just one day after pro-abortion rallies in Madison and Milwaukee following the leak of the Supreme Court's draft opinion, according to Wisconsin Public Radio.
One of the Molotov cocktails thrown into the office failed to ignite; the other set a bookcase on fire. Roychowdhury also admitted to spray-painting the message "If abortions aren't safe then you aren't either" on the outside of the building. No one was in the office at the time.
Photos taken in the aftermath showed shattered windows, a charred part of one wall with burned books, and other items strewn on the floor.
BREAKING: Somebody vandalized and allegedly threw Molotov cocktails into Wisconsin Family Action's — an anti-abortion rights group — Madison office, writing w/ graffiti, "If abortions aren't safe, then you aren't either."— Alexander Shur (@AlexanderShur) May 8, 2022
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Investigators connected Roychowdhury to the firebombing in January when police assigned to the state Capitol in Madison reviewed surveillance footage of a protest against police brutality. The video showed several people spray-painting graffiti on Capitol grounds that resembled the message left on the Wisconsin Family Action office. The footage also showed two people leaving the area in a pickup truck investigators tracked to Roychowdhury's home in Madison.
Law enforcement officials said DNA evidence helped confirm Roychowdhury was connected to the attack, after he was identified as the suspect in March, according to WMTV. Local police officers saw the suspect dispose of a half-eaten burrito into a public trash can and later collected DNA from the food and other items, according to the criminal complaint.
A forensic biologist then matched DNA from the food with DNA evidence from the WFA office.
Police arrested Roychowdhury on March 28 at a Boston airport where he had booked a one-way ticket to Guatemala City, Guatemala, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Roychowdhury signed a plea deal with prosecutors last month agreeing to a federal charge of damaging property with explosives. U.S. District Judge William Conley approved the agreement in a hearing Friday.
Under the charge, Roychowdhury faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, but prosecutors agreed to recommend that Judge Conley reduce the sentence because he has accepted responsibility for the crime.
A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for February.
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