October 25, 2014

Kaukauna man gets 11 years for abortion clinic fire

A Fox Valley man will spend 11 years in prison, after he was sentenced Thursday for starting a small fire at a Planned Parenthood clinic near Appleton. 50-year-old Francis Grady of Kaukauna was found guilty in October by a federal jury of arson and criminal property damage.

His lawyer, Tom Phillip, asked for the minimum sentence of five years, arguing Grady only took 47 cents worth of gasoline to the clinic last April. Phillip says that meant the crime should be considered as vandalism, rather than as an arson case.

Karen Kuhn of Planned Parenthood described the fire an act of terrorism, although Grady said he didn’t intend it that way. He claimed he was incompetent, because he was quote, “involuntarily intoxicated” and he heard voices telling him to set the fire. During the trial, Grady claimed to have seen “souls coming out” of the clinic.

Judge William Griesbach said Grady is bi-polar and suffers from personality disorders, along with being a drug and alcohol abuser.

Grady faced up to 21 years behind bars, but the judge agreed to a shorter term. Griesbach said Grady needed to be in prison to be sure that he stays on his medications. If he wants to raise mental competency issues, the judge said he should do it during the appeals process.