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Environmental anarchist pleads guilty to arson


Summary of story from SFGate, June 17, 2011

Briana Waters, 35, pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in Tacoma, Washington, to arson and related charges in the May 2001 firebombing of the university’s Center for Urban Horticulture in Seattle.

Waters, a violin teacher with a six-year-old daughter, served 31 months in prison before an appeals court overturned her conviction in the University of Washington arson, said her lawyer, Dennis Riordan.

He said she would spend about 11 more months behind bars, with time off for good behavior, if a federal judge accepted the plea agreement.

The May 2001 fire gutted the university research center and caused $6 million in damage. No one was injured. Prosecutors said the Earth Liberation Front aimed the attack at the office of a professor whom the group mistakenly believed was genetically engineering trees.

The Susanville fire destroyed a barn and some hay but did not harm any people or animals. Authorities said the Earth Liberation Front later took responsibility.

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