Plea deal in attacks on California Planned Parenthood clinic

Posted at 7:34 PM, November 29, 2022 and last updated 3:12 PM, July 7, 2023

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Southern California man has admitted he fired BB guns at a Planned Parenthood clinic on at least 11 occasions and has agreed to plead guilty to two crimes stemming from the investigation, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

Admissions by Richard Royden Chamberlin, 54, are contained in a plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

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The drive-by BB gun attacks against the Planned Parenthood facility in suburban Pasadena occurred between June 2020 and May 2021. No one was hurt but there was physical damage. Chamberlin currently resides in Ontario, California, but previously lived in Altadena, adjacent to Pasadena.

Pasadena police stopped Chamberlin as he drove away from the clinic on May 7, 2021, and found he had eight BB guns and a backpack containing a loaded .22-caliber pistol, the office said.

“In his plea agreement, Chamberlin admitted that he intentionally conducted the attacks to intimidate and interfere with the clinic, its doctors, staff and patients specifically because the clinic was providing reproductive health services, including services related to the termination of pregnancies,” the office said.

Chamberlin, who was convicted in Arizona in 2012 of felony attempted transportation of a narcotic for sale, agreed to plead guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and forcible interference with the obtaining and provision of reproductive health services, the office said.

The gun violation carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The violation of the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act is punishable by up to one year in prison. The date for Chamberlin to formally enter the pleas has not been set.

Chamberlin was represented by the federal public defender’s office, which had no comment on the agreement.

The prosecution press release noted that after his arrest, Chamberlin tried to get rid of other firearms by selling four to a consignment store and transferring ownership of eight others to a neighbor. Items discovered during a subsequent search of his home included thousands of rounds of ammunition, a dozen BB guns and documents about Planned Parenthood.