A Kansas City man pleaded guilty Thursday to the attempted firebombing of U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver’s midtown Kansas City office.
Eric G. King, 29, admitted that on Sept. 11, 2014, he lit and threw two Molotov cocktails at the building housing Cleaver’s office on 31st Street, about a block west of Main Street.
He pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Kansas City to a charge of using an incendiary device to commit arson. The charge carries a minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.
King had previously expressed anti-government, anarchist sentiments on social media and had been identified as a potential suspect in incidents where anti-government graffiti was spray-painted on a bank building and Kansas City police vehicles, according to federal court records.
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The incident at Cleaver’s office, captured by a video surveillance camera, showed a person throwing a hammer through a window. The person then threw a flaming bottle at the window, but it bounced off. The person threw a second bottle and ran from the area.
The bottles filled with flammable liquid didn’t cause any fire damage to the building.
When police detained King about a week later, they searched his backpack and found a can of charcoal lighter fluid, a plastic soda bottle covered in a tube sock and a can of red spray paint, according to the documents.
During a search of his apartment, FBI agents said they found a letter that included statements such as “Use hammer/sledgehammer to break door, light bottles, throw them, light curtains.”
Investigators said they also tracked Facebook posts that they believed were linked to King, including one from the day before the firebombing attempt that noted action by a group called the KC Fight Back Insurrectionist Collective.
“KC Fight Back has been ... serious in its insurrection activity,” the post read. “And that is the thing that is giving me the most pride in my life.”
Investigators also said King was linked to the hammer and Molotov cocktail wicks through DNA testing.
He has been in custody since his arrest. A sentencing date has not been set.