Orange County Resident Admits Guilt in Planned Parenthood Firebombing

Tibet Ergul, a 22-year-old from Irvine, California, admitted to orchestrating a series of planned attacks, including a firebombing at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Costa Mesa in March 2022, plotting against an electrical substation in Orange, and targeting Dodger Stadium during an LGBTQ pride event. His guilty plea encompasses one felony count of conspiracy to damage an energy facility and one misdemeanor count of intentional damage to a reproductive health services facility.

Legal Charges and Ideological Motivation

Ergul’s actions, driven by a hateful ideology, aimed to incite a race war, intimidate individuals seeking reproductive health services, and disrupt public utilities. His plea reveals a chilling intent to use violence to further his extremist beliefs, as noted by United States Attorney Martin Estrada and officials from the FBI and NCIS.

The Planned Parenthood Attack

In early 2022, Ergul and Chance Brannon, a co-conspirator, agreed to attack a Planned Parenthood clinic using a Molotov cocktail. Their objective was to deter abortions by intimidating patients and staff. On March 12, 2022, they prepared the incendiary device in Ergul’s garage. The following day, they executed the attack, causing the clinic to close temporarily and reschedule about 30 appointments.

Additional Plots

Post the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in June 2022, Ergul and Brannon planned a second attack on another Planned Parenthood clinic, which they aborted upon noticing law enforcement presence. Furthermore, Ergul conspired to attack a Southern California Edison electrical substation to cripple Orange County’s power grid, a plan that remained unexecuted before their arrest.

Dodger Stadium Plot

In the summer of 2023, discussions between Ergul and Brannon included plans to attack Dodger Stadium’s parking lot or electrical room during an LGBTQ pride event, contemplating the use of remotely detonated devices. Their arrest occurred just days before the scheduled “Pride Night.”

The Plea Agreement

The plea agreement, described as “binding,” suggests a prison sentence ranging from 60 to 78 months for Ergul, pending acceptance by United States District Judge Cormac J. Carney at a sentencing hearing scheduled for May 30. The agreement’s acceptance or rejection carries significant implications for Ergul’s sentencing.

Co-Conspirators’ Guilty Pleas

Chance Brannon and Xavier Batten, Ergul’s co-conspirators, have also pleaded guilty to related charges. Brannon’s charges include conspiracy, malicious destruction of property by fire and explosives, possession of an unregistered destructive device, and intentional damage to a reproductive health services facility. Batten pleaded guilty to possession of an unregistered destructive device and intentional damage to a reproductive health services facility. Their sentencing hearings are scheduled for April 15 and May 15.

This case underscores the severe legal repercussions of using violence to further extremist ideologies. The detailed account of the plots, the ideological motivations behind them, and the legal outcomes serve as a stark reminder of the consequences of such actions.

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