A convicted felon from the Inland Empire who fired BB guns at the Planned Parenthood facility in Pasadena nearly a dozen times is set to plead guilty Monday to a federal charge of interfering with women seeking abortions.
Richard Chamberlin, 53, of Ontario, admitted to carrying a loaded .22-caliber handgun during one of the attacks and is expected to also plead guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Chamberlin acknowledged driving past the Planned Parenthood facility in Pasadena and firing his BB gun at the clinic on at least 11 occasions between June 2020 and May 2021. 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.
No one was injured in any of the shootings.
Beginning on June 27, 2020, Chamberlin’s attacks involved him firing BB pellets from his car. The attacks caused physical damage to the clinic, including shattered windows, and also served to intimidate the clinic staff, Chamberlin admitted in the plea agreement filed in Los Angeles federal court.
On March 29, 2021, a clinic employee heard an object hit her office window, which caused her to fear for her physical safety and interfered with the performance of her job duties. The next day, at 8:30 a.m. while the clinic was open and receiving patients, the defendant again drove by and fired his BB gun at the front entrance. During this attack, a patient’s companion was seated on the front porch and was nearly hit when the BB gun pellets peppered the banners directly in front of where she was seated, federal prosecutors said.
On May 7, 2021, the Pasadena Police Department stopped Chamberlin while he was driving away from the clinic following another BB gun attack. At this time, Chamberlin possessed eight BB guns, including BB guns designed to look like assault rifles. On the front passenger seat of his vehicle, police found a backpack containing a .22-caliber pistol, which was loaded with 10 rounds of ammunition.
In his plea agreement, Chamberlin admitted that he possessed the firearm and ammunition after being previously convicted in Arizona in 2012 of a felony offense of attempted transportation of a narcotic drug for sale.
Following his arrest, Chamberlin attempted to dispose of his remaining firearms by selling four firearms to a local consignment store and transferring ownership of eight additional firearms to a neighbor. During a subsequent search of his home, authorities recovered thousands of rounds of ammunition, gun powder, a dozen additional BB guns, a black cylinder resembling a suppressor, a Polymer 80 gun-making kit, various gun parts and multiple documents identifying and referring to Planned Parenthood, court papers show.
Chamberlin agreed to plead guilty to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, a felony offense that carries penalty of up to 10 years in federal prison, and one count of forcible interference with the obtaining and provision of reproductive health services, a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison.