An Indiana man convicted of setting fire to a mosque in Ohio told a judge on Wednesday that he committed the crimes because Fox News and conservative talk radio had convinced him that “most Muslims are terrorists.”
Randolph Linn, 52, accepted a plea deal in which he pled guilty to all charges in connection to setting a fire in the prayer room at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo on Sept. 30. Under the deal, Linn is expected to serve 20 years in prison instead of 40.
Linn explained to the court that he had gotten “riled up” after watching Fox News.
“And I was more sad when Judge [Jack] Zouhary asked him that, ‘Do you know any Muslims or do you know what Islam is?’” one mosque member who attended the hearing recalled to WNWO. “And he said, ‘No, I only know what I hear on Fox News and what I hear on radio.’”
“Muslims are killing Americans and trying to blow stuff up,” Linn also reportedly told the judge. “Most Muslims are terrorists and don’t believe in Jesus Christ.”
Linn claimed that he had consumed 45 beers in the 6 hours before leaving his Indiana home to set fire to the mosque, which he had discovered while working as a truck driver.
After his arrest on Oct. 2, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ava Dusten said that Linn had told officers, “Fuck those Muslims… They would kill us if they got the chance.”
Linn is due back in court on April 16, 2013 for a formal sentencing.