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Man accused of arson attempts at Planned Parenthood building enters not guilty plea

Jedediah Stout Jedediah Stout
October 4, 2013 arson suspect October 4, 2013 arson suspect
October 4, 2013 arson suspect October 4, 2013 arson suspect
October 2, 2013 arson suspect October 2, 2013 arson suspect
October 2, 2013 arson suspect October 2, 2013 arson suspect

Updated November 19, 2013:  Today Jedediah Stout entered a not guilty plea for two counts of arson connected to Planned Parenthood in Joplin.

Officials say Stout admitted to investigators that he is also responsible for a fire that destroyed the Islamic Society Mosque of Joplin.

 

Updated November 6, 2013:  NEWS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE - WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI

Jedediah Stout, 29, was charged in a two-count indictment returned today by a federal grand jury in Springfield, Mo. Both counts of the indictment allege attempted arson at the Planned Parenthood building at 701 S. Illinois Ave. in Joplin, Mo., on Oct. 3 and 4, 2013. Today's indictment replaces the federal criminal complaint that was filed earlier against Stout.

This remains an active, ongoing investigation. Additional information will be made available to the public when, and if, an announcement is warranted or permissible. 

Federal law protects the confidentiality of grand jury proceedings; therefore, the U.S. Attorney's Office will have no further comment regarding today's indictment. We are prohibited by federal law from providing any information outside the public record. Department of Justice policy also precludes us from disclosing the details of a federal investigation. We cannot comment upon the status of an investigation or speculate about the outcome of an investigation.

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Updated October 22, 2013 at 5:39 PM:  It's a case that could be closed soon. Which would provide closure to members of the Islamic Society of Joplin. More than a year after arson claimed their mosque, Arson attempts at Planned Parenthood just might prove to be the saving grace.

"Of course we were very concerned that anyone would have this hate and have any kind of violence in our community," said Kimberly Kester of the Joplin's Islamic Society.

While watching media coverage of the Attempted Arsons on Joplin's Planned Parenthood building earlier this month, Kester couldn't help but see similarities to the Arson of the Joplin Mosque that brought the building, and community to its knees last August.

"You know we were texting, we were on Facebook, wow that looks just like the method that was used on the videos of the person who tried to burn down the Mosque," Kester said.

In both cases a lone man ran up to the building and threw a back pack full of accelerant onto the roof of the buildings. Authorities matched a print from the scene of the Planned Parenthood Attempted Arson to Jedediah Stout of Joplin. Stout later confessed to burning down the Joplin Mosque as well. 

"Hopefully it is closure, you know sometimes it does take time to solve these cases," said Cpl Chuck Niess of the Joplin Police Department.

Kester says that the Islamic Society of Joplin hasn't just been waiting for punishment for the person that burned down their mosque over a year ago, but that it does make them feel a lot more secure knowing someone finally confessed.

"Islam teaches us that we have to forgive and that God is the person or the being that's in charge of handing out any kind of judgment," Kester said.

The Islamic Society of Joplin says the confession won't bring back it's Mosque, but that the confession helps to close a chapter. And right now it remains focused on moving on and rebuilding their Mosque off of 32nd street in Joplin.

According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Stout has yet to be charged for the Mosque fire, but the investigation is ongoing. 

Updated October 22, 2013 at 11:25 AM:   A Four State man who admitted to setting fire to the Joplin Islamic Society Mosque is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.

Prosecutors are asking a federal judge to revoke the bond option for Jedediah Stout.

On Monday the 30-year-old appeared in federal court on two charges of attempted arson at Joplin's Planned Parenthood earlier this month.

During the hearing Stout admitted to starting the fire that destroyed the Islamic mosque in Joplin in August 2012.  The cause of that fire was originally ruled undetermined.

But in July of that year surveillance video from the mosque showed a man attempting arson on the building.

Read the Motion for Detention.

 

Updated October 18, 2013:  A Joplin man has been charged with the attempted arson of a Planned Parenthood facility on two separate occasions. Authorities say Jedediah Stout, 30, threw items containing an accelerant onto the roof of the facility, then ignited material attached to the accelerant.

According to the criminal complaint, a short time after the second arson attempt Stout was seen by Joplin Police officers walking on railroad tracks about five blocks from the facility. Stout claimed he had ben drinking, was intoxicated and was out walking. Officers say Stout did not appear to be intoxicated and did not smell of alcohol, though they did smell some type of fuel on his hand. Officers also discovered Stout carrying a lighter, but no cigarettes.

Stout was cited for trespassing and taken to the city jail.

Officers took Stout's photo to the bar he claimed to have been at but the bartender didn't recall seeing Stout.

Investigators traced the manufacturing tags from the backpack left at the first arson attempt to a Joplin Walmart store, where records indicated the individual also purchased a rope similar to the one being used as a fuse and alcohol. The sales associate conducting the transaction captured the birth date of the purchaser - which happens to be the same as Stout's date of birth.

The attempted arsons are being investigated by the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Joplin Police Department.

Stout is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court on October 21.

 

 

NEWS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Missouri man charged with attempted arson of Planned Parentood facility

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced today that Jedediah Stout, 30, of Joplin, Mo., was charged today in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Springfield, Mo., with the attempted arson of a Planned Parenthood facility.

As stated in the complaint affidavit, on Oct. 3, 2013, and Oct. 4, 2013, Stout made consecutive attempts to set fire to the Planned Parenthood facility in Joplin. In both instances he threw items containing an accelerant onto the roof of the facility, and then ignited material attached to the accelerant. Stout will have his initial appearance in U.S. District Court on Oct. 21, 2013.

Today's charge is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Joplin Police Department. Prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Kelleher in conjunction with the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.

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View the Criminal Complaint

 

UPDATED OCTOBER 7, 2013- 5:00 PM

The Planned Parenthood in Joplin keeps it's doors open despite two failed arson attempts. On Friday we brought news of man attempting to burn down the Planned Parenthood in Joplin, by lighting a bag on fire and tossing it on the roof of the building. And on Friday night, the incident happened again.

The Joplin Police Department tells me they are working with the FBI and ATF on this case to try and find the man or men responsible for attempting to burn down the Planned Parenthood, located at 710 Illinois Avenue in Joplin.

"When it's right next door to your office, that's a little troubling, I can see their building right outside my office window," said Larry Nichols, who works in the office next door.
 
Nichols says ever since he heard about the first arson attempt on the Planned Parenthood building last week, he's felt a bit uneasy at work. And now that a suspect again approached the building and managed to briefly ignite a small portion of the clinic -- he feels even more anxious.

"I wouldn't think something like that would happen so close to our building, things are pretty well lit around here, and it's just really surprising that someone would try that not only once, but twice," Nichols said.

Nichols tells us that Planned Parenthood has always been a great neighbor, never making much noise or attracting protesters. He says thankfully the most recent arson attempt on Friday left only scorched brick and melted wire.

The Joplin Police Department says they can't say the motives behind the attempts, but that they are continuing to work with Planned Parenthood to find out.

"Obviously if people don't agree, with something somebody is doing, there are proper ways to express their dislike, express their different opinions, and trying to burn down a building is not an acceptable way for the police department, or society to express those views," said Lt. Matt Stewart of the Joplin Police Department.
 
But the CEO of Southwest Missouri's Planned Parenthood says the events have been a huge shock, and that Planned Parenthood has been in Joplin for over forty years without incident.

"We have not even had one suspicious encounter at this facility, the community loves us, we've been there for decades, we've taking care of people in Joplin...So I want to reassure our patients that we're open for business and we're there to take care of them no matter what," said CEO Paula M. Gianino. 

Police say they can't say for sure if the person caught by surveillance cameras during both incidents is the same person. And for now they will continue nightly patrol in the area to prevent further incident.

"I hope this is just an isolated couple of incidents and that they'll catch the person responsible," Nichols said.
 
Joplin police say it takes all cases of attempted arson very seriously, and in addition to stepping up area patrol, they're asking the public for any addition information that can help them catch the person or persons responsible.

If you recognize the suspect in any of the photos attached to this story, police ask you contact them immediately. 

 

 

UPDATED OCTOBER 7, 2013 -NEWS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE JOPLIN POLICE DEPARTMENT

Joplin Police Respond to a Report of an Arson

On October 4, 2013 at approximately 11:08 pm, officers with the Joplin Police Department along with the Joplin Fire Department were dispatched to the Planned Parenthood building located at 710 S. Illinois for a report of a structure fire.  An officer arrived shortly after the call was received and was able to extinguish the fire.  There was minor damage done to the building.

It appears from video surveillance that the suspect placed a bag on the roof of the building near the electrical box of the building and lit the bag on fire.  We are continuing to follow up on leads to determine whether the two incidents at Planned Parenthood are connected.  In each incident the suspect wore similar clothing; however, we are unable to determine at this time whether this is the same suspect.

The Joplin Police Department is currently following up on leads to this case as well as the first attempt and the investigation is on-going.  The Joplin Police Department is working in conjunction with the FBI, ATF, Missouri State Fire Marshall's Office, and the Joplin Fire Department Fire Marshall.

A picture of the suspect is attached to this email. 

If anyone has any information on who this suspect might be, please contact the Joplin Police Department.  You can contact us via phone at 417-623-3131, on our web page at www.joplinpolice.org, on our Facebook page at www.facebook/JoplinPD, or submit a tip to the Heartland Crime Stoppers by calling 417-782-TIPZ or on their web page at www.heartlandtipz.com.  You can also contact the FBI office at 816-512-8200, the ATF office at 417-837-2100, or the Missouri Arson Hotline at 800-39-ARSON (800-392-7766).

 

POSTED OCTOBER 4, 2013 - NEWS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE JOPLIN POLICE DEPARTMENT

Joplin Police Respond to a Report of an Attempted Arson

On October 3, 2013 at approximately 6:30 pm, officers with the Joplin Police Department responded to the Planned Parenthood building located at 710 S. Illinois for an attempted arson. An employee with the business located a suspicious item near the business. Video surveillance from the building shows that this occurred at approximately midnight on the night of October 2, 2013. It appears from video surveillance that the suspect attempted to burn the building by placing a bag on the roof of the building.

The Joplin Police Department is currently following up on leads to this case and the investigation is on-going. The Joplin Police Department is working in conjunction with the FBI, ATF, Missouri State Fire Marshall's Office, and the Joplin Fire Department Fire Marshall.

A picture of the suspect is attached to this email.

If anyone has any information on who this suspect might be, please contact the Joplin Police Department. You can contact us via phone at 417-623-3131, on our web page at www.joplinpolice.org, on our Facebook page at www.facebook/JoplinPD, or submit a tip to the Heartland Crime Stoppers by calling 417-782-TIPZ or on their web page at www.heartlandtipz.com. You can also contact the FBI office at 816-512-8200, the ATF office at 417-837-2100, or the Missouri Arson Hotline at 800-39-ARSON (800-392-7766).

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