Homeless man given 3 months in jail for starting Minnesota synagogue blaze
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Homeless man given 3 months in jail for starting Minnesota synagogue blaze

Matthew Amiot also sentenced to community service for setting fire that destroyed Adas Israel Synagogue in Duluth

The Adas Israel Congregation in Duluth, Minnesota, burned down on September 9, 2019. (Duluth News Tribune Screenshot via JTA)
The Adas Israel Congregation in Duluth, Minnesota, burned down on September 9, 2019. (Duluth News Tribune Screenshot via JTA)

DULUTH, Minnesota — A homeless man who pleaded guilty to starting a fire that destroyed a 117-year-old synagogue in Minnesota was sentenced to three months in jail and 192 hours of community service.

Matthew Amiot, 36, was sentenced Friday, according to local station KTTC-TV. 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 September 9. Authorities say Amiot used a lighter to ignite combustible materials outside the main building, near a sukkah, or temporary structure used for the holiday of Sukkot.

This undated booking photo from the St. Louis (Minnesota) County Sheriff’s Office shows Matthew James Amiot, who was arrested, September 13, 2019, in connection to a fire at the Adas Israel Congregation, in Duluth, Minnesota. (St. Louis (Minnesota) County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

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

Police don’t believe the fire was a hate crime.

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