Man who burned down 117-year-old synagogue gets 3 months in jail

A man who pleaded guilty to starting a blaze that destroyed a century-old synagogue in Minnesota has been sentenced to less than half a year in jail for the crime.

By Associated Press

After pleading guilty to starting a fire that razed a 117-year-old synagogue in Duluth, Minnesota, Matthew Amiot was sentenced to three months in jail and 192 hours of community service.

KTTC-TV reported that the 36-year-old arsonist was sentenced Friday. He pleaded guilty last month to negligent fire charges.

Amiot received credit for the 36 days he has already served in jail.

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

Amiot told police he tried to spit on the fire to put it out and walked away when that didn’t work.

Police maintain that the fire was not a hate crime.