Abortion Clinic Bomber Put Under Strict Parole Conditions
MICHAEL J. SNIFFEN
Jan. 17, 1995
WASHINGTON (AP) _ John A. Brockhoeft, who firebombed an abortion clinic in 1985, will be paroled next month on condition he stays away from anti-abortion protests, receives mental health care and wears an electronic monitoring device.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Janet Reno said ``an intensely active investigation'' is under way into ``statements and writings which seem to condone or encourage violence against clinics and (abortion) providers.''
The stricter-than-normal parole conditions for Brockhoeft, a 43-year-old former mail handler who has been convicted of firebombing one clinic, admitted firebombing another and convicted of planning to firebomb a third, were disclosed Tuesday by the Justice Department in response to questions.
U.S. Attorney Edmund A. Sargus Jr., whose office in Cincinnati prosecuted Brockhoeft, and Planned Parenthood, whose Margaret Sanger Clinic he destroyed Dec. 30, 1985, had sought stiff parole restrictions on him.
``Your complete non-involvement with the anti-abortion protest movement and ... with anti-abortion issues altogether, is deemed necessary in order to prevent your mind from dwelling on subjects that have a high likelihood of prompting you to violent behavior,'' wrote Carol Pavilack Getty, north-central regional commissioner for the U.S. Parole Commission.
Brockhoeft, 43, who last lived in Hebron, Ky., across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, is to be released Feb. 18 from a federal prison in Ashland, Ky.
Justice spokesman Carl Stern said Brockhoeft qualified for release under regulations that credit inmates with time off for good behavior.
Brockhoeft was sentenced to seven years after pleading guilty to setting fire overnight to the Sanger Clinic in Cincinnati. In exchange, prosecutors dropped a charge that he had firebombed the Women's Health Care Center in Cincinnati. Sargus said Brockhoeft since has admitted burning the second clinic.
Earlier, Brockhoeft, who describes himself as a member of the Army of God for the unborn, served 26 months in prison for planning the 1988 bombing of a Pensacola, Fla., abortion clinic.
Getty decided Friday that, as a condition of parole, Brockhoeft must:
_``Refrain from all association, in any manner or form, with persons or groups protesting or campaigning against abortion and-or abortion clinics.''
_``Engage in no activity, writing, publication, membership or speech concerning the subject of abortion.''
_``Not attend meetings or communicate in any way with persons who are themselves thus engaged.''
_``Participate in an in-patient or out-patient mental health program as directed by your U.S. probation officer.''
_``Remain at your place of residence except for employment and other activities approved in advance by your probation officer.''
_``Wear an electronic monitoring device.''
_``Have no contact with any Planned Parenthood Association or its staff.''
Getty ordered the home confinement to continue until the parole commission ends it. Brockhoeft will be under commission supervision until Jan. 11, 1997.
Getty said Brockhoeft will be required to pay what he can for his home confinement, including the cost of the electronic device that allows his movements to be monitored from a distance.
Brockhoeft could appeal the restrictions to the full commission, but has not done so thus far, said Justice spokesman Joe Krovisky. Violation of the conditions could land him back in prison for his full term.
``He has been unrepentant and, in fact, boasted about his arsons,'' Sargus wrote Getty on Jan. 5. Sargus added that Brockhoeft published ``The Brockhoeft Report'' from prison and said it called the shootings of abortion doctors ``justifiable homicide.''
Brockhoeft told WLWT-TV in Cincinnati this month that he will avoid trouble when released.
Alphonse Gerhardstein, a Planned Parenthood attorney, said he would ask the federal parole office in Cincinnati to bar Brockhoeft from seeing his ex-wife or entering seven counties near Cincinnati.
Reno's warning to ``those who directly preach murder and violence'' was prompted by reports about an Army of God manual that describes how to make explosives and disable clinic security systems. Circulated for several years, the manual recently has become an object of interest to a federal grand jury probing abortion violence.
Aides said she also was concerned about an interview in which Roy McMillan, head of the Christian Action Group, said the president might be ``in harm's way'' for endorsing abortion and that assassination of Supreme Court justices might be ``more justifiable.'' McMillan said he was not advocating violence, only noting it's possibility. The Secret Service plans to review the transcript.