Lodi NJ Man Convicted of Terrorism for Vandalizing, Committing Arson at Jewish Temples
Vandalism, Arson Charges in Lodi, NJ
A Lodi New Jersey man was recently convicted on terrorism charges in connection with the vandalism of several Jewish temples. The suspect also firebombed the home of a rabbi.
The violent crimes were committed over the course of a few weeks in late 2011 and early 2012.
According to Bergen County prosecutors, the suspect committed the first criminal action by going to Temple Beth Israel in Maywood NJ and spray-painting anti-Semitic messages on the building. The suspect later did the same thing at Temple Beth El, which is located in Hackensack, New Jersey. Both of these incidents reportedly occurred in December 2011.
In January 2012, the suspect, along with an accomplice, allegedly visited Temple K’Hal Adath Jeshurun in Paramus NJ and attempted to set the religious building on fire.
A few days later, the suspect went to the Jewish Community Center in Paramus and was about to throw a Molotov cocktail at the building when he abandoned his plan because a patrol cop happened to drive by.
The final criminal incident occurred on January 11, 2012, when the suspect firebombed the residence of a rabbi. At the time, the rabbi was inside the home with his wife, their five kids, his father, and his wife’s mother. Bergen County NJ prosecutors believe that the suspect was trying to burn down Congregation Beth El, which is next door to the victim’s house.
The suspect, a 24-year-old male who is from Lodi, NJ, was eventually captured by law enforcement. During a police interrogation, the suspect reportedly confessed to committing the crimes.
The suspect later stood trial in Bergen County Superior Court in Hackensack, New Jersey. During trial, the prosecution sought to prove that the suspect had terrorized multiple people with his dangerous actions and that his acts were carried out for the purpose of promoting terror.
At the end of the trial, the Bergen County jury convicted the suspect on 20 criminal charges, including the most serious charges of terrorism.
After the verdict was handed down, prosecutors celebrated and congratulated each other inside the courtroom.
The suspect will have to return to Bergen County Superior Court on July 22 so that he can be formally sentenced. It is possible that he could be sentenced to as many as 30 years in NJ State Prison on the terrorism conviction.
Meanwhile, the suspect’s criminal defense attorney said that his client plans to file an appeal in the case. The defense lawyer highlighted the fact that the suspect was just 19 years old at the time of the arson incidents.
Arrested, Charged with Criminal Mischief in Bergen County – Need Lawyer
For more information about this case, access the NorthJersey.com article, “Firebomber Guilty of Terrorism.”