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Eco-sabotage Case Cracked with Two Guilty Pleas

Cathy Duchamp
10/05/2006

Five years ago, five arsonists fire-bombed the University of Washington horticulture center. Now two of the suspects have pleaded guilty in one of the region's most notorious cases of eco-sabotage. Correspondent Cathy Duchamp reports.

33 YEAR OLD JENNIFER KOLAR IS KNOWN TO FRIENDS IN SEATTLE AS A SALTWATER SAILOR. YESTERDAY SHE STOOD BEFORE A JUDGE IN FEDERAL COURT IN TACOMA. KOLAR ADMITTED TO USING A KNIFE TO CUT THE GLASS THAT GAVE THE ARSONISTS ACCESS TO THE OFFICE OF UW PROFESSOR TOBY BRADSHAW. THE FIRE BOMB WENT OFF IN THE OFFICE. THE ENTIRE HORTICULTURE BUILDING WAS DESTROYED. YEARS OF RESEARCH WERE LOST. PROFESSOR BRADSHAW SAYS ITS DOESN'T REALLY HELP TO KNOW THE NAMES OF THE PEOPLE WHO TARGETED HIS WORK ON HYBRID POPLAR TREES. BRADSHAW SAYS WHAT'S IMPORTANT IS THAT FEDERAL INVESTIGATORS PRIED OPEN THE TIGHT-LIPPED EARTH LIBERATION SHIRT.

IT WAS AN ORGANIZATION THAT WAS VERY GOOD IN CARRYING OUT THESE KINDS OF ATTACKS WITHOUT BEING DETECTED AND WITHOUT GIVING THEMSELVES AWAY AND I CAN IMAGINE IT WAS VERY DIFFICULT TO INFILTRATE AN ORGANIZATION LIKE THAT. THAT'S WHAT'S SO IMPRESSIVE ABOUT THE LAW ENFORCEMENT EFFORT.

THE SECOND WOMAN TO PLEAD GUILTY WAS LACEY PHILLABAUM OF SPOKANE. A RESUME FOR THE 31 YEAR OLD SHOWS SHE GRADUATED FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON IN 1996. HER FATHER, LAWYER STEVE PHILLABAUM OF SPOKANE SAID IN AN EMAIL LACEY IS A BRIGHT YOUNG WOMAN WHO BELIEVES PASSIONATELY IN WHAT SHE DOES. HE WROTE SHE KNOWS SHE MADE A MISTAKE AND IS TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR IT. PHILLABAUM FACES THREE TO FIVE YEARS IN PRISON. JENNIFER KOLAR FACES FIVE TO SEVEN. I'M CATHY DUCHAMP REPORTING.

℗ Copyright 2006, KUOW News

01.17.18

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