Judge Refuses to Reduce Charges in Tennessee Mosque Fire

February 27, 2008

A judge has refused to reduce charges against three men accused of burning down a mosque in Columbia, Tenn.

Defense attorneys argued unsuccessfully Monday that the charges should be reduced to arson, instead of arson of a religious building.

The case against Jonathan Stone, 18, Michael Golden, 22, and Eric Baker, 22, will go to a grand jury, which is expected to convene in about 30 days.

The three are accused of using gasoline, rags and empty beer bottles to set fire to the Islamic Center of Columbia in a storefront on Feb. 9. Racial slurs were painted on the walls. No one was hurt.

Attorneys for the three said the mosque shouldn’t be considered a religious facility since leaders never filed the appropriate paperwork with the state that would deem the mosque tax exempt.

Information from: WKRN-TV, http://www.wkrn.com/

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.