Affidavit: ‘Anxiety’ Led Arson Suspect to Set Fire to Casper Abortion Clinic

Preliminary hearing scheduled for next week

A Casper woman is suspected of causing an intentional fire that severely damaged a planned abortion clinic last May. (Courtesy photo from Wellspring Health Access)

By Ellen Fike

Special to the Wyoming Truth


A Casper woman accused of intentionally setting fire to an abortion clinic last spring appeared in court Thursday two days after her arrest.

Lorna Roxanne Green, 22, has been charged with arson of a facility engaged in interstate commerce. The felony count has a minimum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum of 20 years and up to a $250,000 fine.

Green’s Thursday morning court appearance lasted all of nine minutes, during which U.S. Magistrate Judge Kelly H. Rankin told the arson suspect that her preliminary hearing would take place on Tuesday at 3 p.m., according to court records. Green is being held by the U.S. Marshal’s Office.

The fire-damaged Wellspring Health Access clinic in Casper, Wyo., is seen Wednesday, May 25, 2022. The women’s health and abortion clinic, which would be the only one of its kind in the state, was set to open in mid-June but the arson fire has delayed the opening by at least several weeks. (AP Photo/Mead Gruver)

The FBI investigates violent crimes committed against reproductive health care providers and facilities in accordance with the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act of 1994.

The act made it a federal crime to injure, intimidate or interfere with those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health care services, including through assault, murder, burglary, physical blockade or making threatening phone calls and mailings.

It also prohibits damaging or destroying any facilities where reproductive health services are provided.

Green’s arrest came 10 months after she allegedly set fire to the Wellspring Health Access Clinic in the early hours of May 25, 2022—just weeks before the clinic’s scheduled opening. The clinic was to provide abortions, OB/GYN services and gender-affirming care.

Julie Burkhart, Wellspring CEO, issued a statement on Thursday, saying she and the rest of the clinic’s team were relieved that a suspect had finally been arrested.

“This arson, one of at least five arson attacks against abortion providers in the past 18 months, caused $290,000 worth of damage and created a ripple of apprehension and fear across the Casper community,” Burkhart said.

“Over the last 10 months, our team has worked tirelessly to renovate the facility after the arson attack, all while the perpetrator remained at large, so that we can finally open our doors to the patients who need us. Now that a suspect has been arrested, we can continue our singular focus on providing quality reproductive health care to the Casper community in a safe, compassionate environment.”

Through video surveillance and eyewitness accounts, a suspect matching Green’s description was spotted breaking a window to gain access to the clinic, pouring gas in the facility and then leaving the premises before the fire grew and spread, the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office reported. 

According to an affidavit of probable cause, the Casper Police Department received several leads earlier this month after it reissued a press release about the arson suspect. An anonymous donor offered a $10,000 reward for leads.

A dozen leads came in, four of which identified Green as the arsonist. Investigators honed in on Green for several reasons, the affidavit stated, as she owns the same 2007 Corolla that the suspect was seen driving; their body types are similar; and she also owns a pair of shoes like the ones the suspect was seen wearing in the surveillance video.

When police interviewed Green on Tuesday, she confirmed she had been at the scene of the crime, the affidavit said.

“Green stated that she did not like abortion and was having nightmares which she attributed to her anxiety about the abortion clinic, so she decided to burn the building,” the affidavit read.

At the time of the arson, Green lived in Laramie. The day before the fire, according to the affidavit, Green purchased gas cans and aluminum pans at Wal-Mart, and after filling them with gasoline, she drove immediately to the Casper clinic.

Police said Green detailed breaking into the clinic, spreading the gas around the building and then fleeing once the flames began to spread “too fast.” She drove back to Laramie, arriving home around dawn.

Green told police that she later showered to remove the smell of gasoline from her body and washed the clothing she wore to the clinic multiple times. Investigators later found clothing in her room that matched the description of what the suspect was wearing on the surveillance video.

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