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Wed Sep 25, 2019, 05:39 PM

Homeless man pleads guilty to Minnesota synagogue fire

Source: Associated Press

Homeless man pleads guilty to Minnesota synagogue fire

September 25, 2019

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) ó A homeless man who admitted starting a fire that destroyed a 117-year-old synagogue in Minnesota, then walking away from the growing blaze because he couldnít douse it by spitting on it, is expected to get probation after pleading guilty.

Matthew Amiot, 36, entered his guilty pleas on negligent fire charges Tuesday in St. Louis County District Court.

The fire destroyed the Adas Israel Synagogue on Sept. 9 in Duluth. Authorities say Amiot used a lighter to ignite a pile of combustible materials outside the main building, near a separate religious structure called a sukkah.

The complaint says Amiot admitted starting the fire and told police he tried to spit on it to put it out, but walked away when that didnít work. Police say they donít believe the fire, which came just weeks ahead of the Jewish high holy days, was a hate crime.

Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 25. The Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported that prosecutors are recommending probation. As a condition of his release from jail, he was ordered to remain at a homeless shelter until his next hearing.

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Read more: https://apnews.com/4801cce0742a4597841182bd51aef308

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