Arizona

Love Story? Arizona Woman Headed to Prison for Plotting to Blast Hubby Out of One

Love Story? Arizona Woman Headed to Prison for Plotting to Blast Hubby Out of One (3)
Courtesy of Arizona Department of Corrections



An Arizona woman tried to blow up a state prison. Now she’s headed to one.

Michelle Marie Bastian, 50, pleaded guilty to one count of terrorism and another of conspiring to “commit misconduct” with weapons, according to a plea agreement with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

Bastian faces 8 1/2 to 10 years in prison along and lifetime probation, when she’s due to be sentenced July 14.

The Attorney General’s office says it is only the second time it has convicted someone under state terrorism laws.

Last year, Bastian plotted to blow up the Arizona State Prison Complex – Lewis, where her husband, Thomas Bastian, is serving time, the Attorney General’s Office said in a press release.

She sent items to her husband to build and explode a device inside the prison, according to the plea agreement.

“These items included instructions about how to make a homemade explosive device as well as terrorism propaganda and information in support of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria also known as ISIS or ISIL,” the Attorney General’s Office said.

click to enlarge Thomas Bastian - COURTESY OF ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
Thomas Bastian
Courtesy of Arizona Department of Corrections
Since March 2009, Thomas Bastian has serving a life sentence for first-degree murder, according to the Arizona Department of Corrections online search tool. He was convicted for a 2007 murder.

Prison doesn’t suit him, even though he’s been in and out of the joint since 1999 for drug, burglary, and theft convictions. During his time inside, he’s been guilty of a dozen major disciplinary violations, including assault.

He now awaits trial on new charges.

He is charged with four felony counts including terrorism, conspiracy to commit terrorism, conspiracy to commit misconduct involving weapons, and conspiracy to promote prison contraband, the release said.

The FBI, ADOC, and the Attorney General’s Office investigated this case.

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Sean Holstege is the editor of Phoenix New Times. He's been a print news reporter for 35 years. He was an investigative reporter at The Arizona Republic and the Oakland Tribune. He won a Sigma Delta Chi award for investigative reporting. He’s covered transportation, terrorism, the border, disasters, child welfare, courts, and breaking news.
Contact: Sean Holstege