Louisiana Woman Accused of Trying to Torch Abortion Center in Court

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 10, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Louisiana Woman Accused of Trying to Torch Abortion Center in Court Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
July 10, 2006

Shreveport, LA (LifeNews.com) — A woman who stands accused to trying to torch an abortion business in Shreveport, Louisiana will soon get a chance to tell her side of story in court. Patricia Hughes, 24, will appear in court this week on charges of possessing and making an incendiary device.

Hughes was arrested in January on allegations she threw a Molotov cocktail at the Hope Medical Group for Women abortion center about 10:45 p.m. Dec. 12. Officials say the device apparently landed away from the building and burned without causing any damage.

Officials released a videotape of the security camera footage which shows a car pulling into the parking lot and a woman getting out on the passenger side. She is seen throwing the device at the abortion facility, entering the car and leaving.

However, Hughes’ attorney disputes the portrayal of her actions as an attempt to firebomb the abortion center. He said Hughes was trying to leave a memorial to babies who had been killed there and botched her attempt to do so.

"Late in the night, she took what she meant to be a lamp, like a memorial, down to the front of the Hope Clinic and left it far away from the building that it wouldn’t start the building on fire and lit it and left it," he told KSLA-TV.

Mouton said reports that the device was a Molotov cocktail are untrue and that what Hughes made was no worse than a candle.

"She’s accused of having a shampoo bottle that had a little bit of gasoline in it and a rag stuffed in the top of it," he told the Louisiana television station. "It was just a lamp essentially. And because it was gasoline, it burned brighter than kerosene would."

Mouton said Hughes didn’t use an actual candle because she worried the flame would be extinguished in the wind and that her point wouldn’t be made. She wanted, what Mouton referred to as a "tribute" to last longer.

Prosecutor Dhu Thompson told KSLA-TV he doesn’t buy Mouton’s argument.

"That’s her defense," he said. "We’ll see what happens in court."