A Brooksville man could be facing 20 years in prison for his role in planning a bombing at a Planned Parenthood Clinic in California last year.
During a July 24 press event in California, U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada alleged that 21-year-old Xavier Batten of Brooksville and two other men, Chance Brannon, 23, and Tibet Ergul, 21, both from California, conspired to use a Molotov cocktail to bomb a Planned Parenthood clinic in Costa Mesa, Calif., in March 2022.
On July 21, 2023, while Batten was making an appearance in U.S. District Court in the Middle District of Florida, the FBI arrested him and ordered him to remain in custody without bail pending trial.
According to Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) Public Information Officer (PIO) Dep. Jamie Miller, Batten was booked into the Pinellas County Jail on July 21, where he remains on hold for a federal marshal pending trial.
According to Estrada, the attack on the clinic was not random. “It was a planned and concerted effort to attack the clinic on account of the services it provided, namely reproductive health services,” he said. “The three defendants charged in the conspiracy are friends or acquaintances and got to know each other by various means, including through discussions on the internet.”
The three are now charged with conspiracy and malicious destruction of property by fire and explosion. “Each charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years incarceration and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison,” Estrada said.
The investigation into the bombing is ongoing, Estrada said.