Musab Mohammed Masmari — the 30-year-old suspect who plead guilty to the New Year’s Eve arson of Seattle's Neighbours gay nightclub — has been sentenced to ten years in prison, more than double the time requested by the court’s prosecutors and defense.
Though prosecutors alleged that Masmari set the blaze out of anti-gay hatred and intolerance, the Seattle PI says Masmari’s defense ascribed a different reason — alcoholism:
In a letter to the court, Masmari, 31, explained he’d consumed a bottle of cheap whiskey in the hours before he set the fire. He claims not to remember setting it, though he recognized himself on a surveillance video.
“I do not believe that I am a bad man but when I get drunk I have done bad things,” Masmari said in a letter to the court. “I swear that it is my intent to never drink again.”
…“I am sorry for the damage I caused, and I am grateful that no one was hurt,” Masmari said in a letter to the court. “I should have gotten alcohol counseling. … I wish I had.
Masmari will remain in jail until his eventual transfer to a federal prison.