Authorities: Suspect in abortion clinic fire died in August

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A person accused of deliberately setting fire to a Tennessee Planned Parenthood clinic and of firing photographs later at a federal courthouse died months in the past, officers introduced Monday in disclosing each the person’s loss of life and the allegations.

Federal court docket paperwork point out that the person, Mark Thomas Reno, 64, died on Aug. 15. Yet most of the paperwork in his case have been sealed till this week, together with information displaying he had been arrested in reference to the Planned Parenthood arson fire.

“The government’s investigation has revealed that (Reno) engaged in a series of violent acts of property destruction in Knoxville since early 2021,” a newly unsealed criticism acknowledged.

The criticism states that Reno fired a shotgun on the clinic’s doorways in early 2021, shattering glass and leaving holes in the reception space. Reno then set the clinic ablaze in December 2021, the doc says.

The constructing was unoccupied throughout the fire however needed to be closed for months to endure an $2.2 million renovation.

Other court docket paperwork present that the FBI started surveillance of Reno in April of this year after he instructed an spy he belonged to a bunch with a mission to withstand actions against Catholic orthodoxy. The agent was secretly recording Reno, who mentioned that his group had “plenty of targets,” in response to the paperwork.

Reno additionally instructed the spy that he was on the U.S. Capitol riot in January 2021. The agent mentioned authorities examined footage from the day and noticed he was current however that there was no proof he broke any legal guidelines.

By July, Reno was accused of firing at a federal constructing in Knoxville and damaging three home windows, in response to the court docket paperwork.

Court paperwork present that Reno had been detained since July however had been quickly launched to obtain medical therapy in August. The reason behind loss of life was not instantly disclosed.

“The man who was arrested in this case is not the only one who holds responsibility,” said — Ashley Coffield, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi, in a statement. “When politicians use hateful rhetoric against abortion providers and support extreme laws, like the total abortion ban we have in Tennessee, it shouldn’t surprise us that some people believe real-world violence is justified.”

Coffield and others have criticized Republican Gov. Bill Lee of Tennessee for not condemning the attack on Planned Parenthood’s clinic. Over the summer, the governor instead condemned vandalism at a crisis pregnancy center that aims to dissuade people from getting an abortion.

Tennessee is among the several states that had enacted so-called trigger laws banning almost all abortions once the U.S. Supreme Court revoked the constitutional right to the procedure. Under the law, Planned Parenthood and other health clinics across the state have stopped providing abortions.

A spokesperson for U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee mentioned their office would have a press release Tuesday.

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