Lacey Phillabaum, a former staff writer for The Source Weekly and C-Ville Weekly, entered a federal detention center in January, six months before she will be sentenced for her role in torching a $4 million University of Washington horticulture facility, the Hook reports. Phillabaum pleaded guilty to three counts of arson in October, and faces three to five years in prison. "She's really eager to put this behind her," says friend James Johnson. The Hook also reports that friends of Phillabaum have set up an informative website about her in part "to counter the radical left-wing blogs that have accused her of being a snitch."
Peripatetic reporter Lacey Phillabaum blazed a trail through the alternative press even after sending the University of Washington's Institute for Urban Horticulture up in blazes on behalf of the eco-terrorist group Earth Liberation Front in 2001. Besides working as a staffer at The Source Weekly and C-Ville Weekly, Phillabaum contributed freelance pieces to sundry alternative newspapers and AAN. "I knew she was very interested in environmental stories from the clips she had," Washington City Paper Senior Editor Mike Debonis tells Baltimore City Paper, "But I didn't have an inkling that she had any radical tendencies."