Three individuals–Marie Mason, Stephanie Lynne Futz, and Aren Burthwick–accepted plea agreements on charges stemming from a 1999 arson at Michigan State University (MSU) conducted as a protest against genetic engineering.
Marie Mason plead guilty to setting the 1999 fire. She was essentially forced to plea after being betrayed by her former husband–Frank Ambrose–who acted as an informant in the case and provided a wealth of information to prosecutors. Mason’s agreement does not require her to testify against anyone else and she gives no names beyond that of Frank Ambrose, who already admitted to several arsons claimed by the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) after becoming a government informant. While Mason admitted involvement in a series of arsons across the Midwest, she will be sentenced only for her role in the MSU arson. She is expected to receive a sentence between 15 and 20 years in prisons.
Mason’s co-defendants–Futz and Burthwick–agree to plead guilty to failing to report the MSU arson to law enforcement.