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Home  >  Topics  >  Investigations

March 18, 2004
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Student Charged With Firebombing SUVs

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -- A 23-year-old graduate student has been indicted for firebombing or vandalizing 125 sports utility vehicles in the Los Angeles area last summer, prosecutors said on Wednesday.

William Cottrell, who was denied bail by a federal judge during a brief court appearance, faces more than 70 years in prison if he is convicted on all nine counts, U.S. Attorney's spokesman Thom Mrozek said.

An attorney for Cottrell, who was arrested earlier this month, could not be reached for comment on the indictment, which was handed down late on Tuesday and made public on Wednesday.

According to the indictment, Cottrell, a graduate student studying physics at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, and "other known and unknown co-conspirators" went on a spree of firebombing and vandalizing sports utility vehicles in August of last year.

Cottrell and his accomplices tossed Molotov cocktails into some of the cars, spray-painting others with such slogans as "GREEDY LITTLE PIG," "FAT, LAZY AMERICANS" and "ELF," the indictment charges.

He is also accused of sending e-mails to the Los Angeles Times claiming responsibility on behalf of the radical environmental group Earth Liberation Front.






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