the early morning hours of July 8, 2004, A.L.F. activists
set ablaze two tractors and thousands of pounds of cardboard
affiliated with the animal testing facilities at Brigham Young
University (BYU). Over $30,000 in damage was inflicted, and
days later the Animal Liberation Front took credit for the
action, vowing to continue targeting the University until
animal experiments ceased. The arson followed up prior A.L.F.
actions at the campus that included the liberation of caged
rabbits and birds.
Two weeks after the action, police searched the home of 18-year-old
Harrison David Burrows, who had been spotted in the area near
the fire and identified by police. (Burrows would later say
that he and an accomplice had returned to the scene to watch
the fires they’d set.) After seizing tools from Burrows’
residence that had allegedly been taken from the BYU facility,
police arrested him.
Burrows was charged with destruction of property by fire
and use of a destructive device during the commission of a
crime, charges that, had he been convicted on both counts,
could have earned him a minimum of 35 years in jail.
to employ their usual tricks, investigators questioned Burrows,
who, according to court documents, told authorities that he
and Josh Demmitt were responsible for the fires at BYU. Burrows
also provided authorities with the names of other people allegedly
involved in underground activity. Media reports state that,
according to the affidavit, he also took responsibility for
other A.L.F. actions at BYU. However, he hasn't been charged
in those incidents.
On September 14, Burrows pleaded guilty to Destruction of
Property by Fire. In exchange, the government said it would
seek five years imprisonment for Burrows. Sentencing is set
for January 2005.
As part of his plea agreement, he agreed to testify before
any grand jury or at any trial about his involvement and the
participation of others, stating, “I agree to cooperate
fully with law enforcement authorities regarding any information
I may have concerning the vandalism and arson committed against
Brigham Young University's Ellsworth Farm on May 16th, May
29th and July 8th 2004, and as to other actions taken by the
Animal Liberation Front or Earth Liberation Front against
any other person or property.”
Josh Demmitt has denounced Harrison, and as of this writing
has not entered a plea. At a September 28th hearing, Demmit
was granted a continuance to review the case before making
a decision on how to plea.