- Associated Press - Thursday, January 7, 2021

SEATTLE (AP) - An Edmonds, Washington, man has pleaded guilty to possessing Molotov cocktail devices that he used to set fire to Seattle police vehicles during a May protest that turned violent.

Kelly Thomas Jackson, 20, manufactured the destructive devices after researching how on the internet, according to his plea agreement, which was entered Wednesday.

He faces up to 10 years in prison on each of the two felony counts of possession of a destructive device when he’s sentenced in U.S. District Court on March 29. Two counts of arson were dismissed as part of his plea agreement, according to court records.

Thousands of protesters swarmed streets across the country following the May 25 death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. Some of the demonstrations in Seattle turned violent and on the night of May 30, a half dozen Seattle police vehicles were set on fire.

Margaret Aislinn Channon, 25, of Tacoma, was arrested soon after on five federal counts of arson for using a blowtorch-like accelerant to burn the police vehicles. She pleaded not guilty and is on supervised release. Her trial is set for March 8.



Phone and email messages seeking comment from her lawyer, Federal Public Defender Christopher Sanders, were not immediately returned.

Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also searched for a man in a dark sweatshirt and respirator who was seen on video throwing a threw a “glass bottle with an ignited fabric wick” into one of the police vehicles, which erupted in flames.

He was also seen throwing another Molotov cocktail on the windshield of another police car. Each time Jackson ran back into the crowd, according to court records. Using video, his phone records and tips from an anonymous source, agents identified the man as Jackson. He was arrested in September. He was released on bond on special supervision in November. He’ll remain on bond until his sentencing.

Robert Goldsmith, Jackson’s lawyer, did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment. Attempts to reach Jackson’s mother were not successful.

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