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Connecticut Man Charged With Shooting at Mosque to Remain Jailed

( [email protected] ) Dec 21, 2015 01:43 PM EST
A Connecticut man facing federal hate crime charges after being accused of shooting at a mosque next to his home with a handgun and rifle following last month's Islamic State attacks in Paris will remain jailed for at least another week, a judge said on Monday.
A Fairfax County police officer controls traffic as women make their way to the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia just outside of Washington December 11, 2015. Reuters

A Connecticut man facing federal hate crime charges after being accused of shooting at a mosque next to his home with a handgun and rifle following last month's Islamic State attacks in Paris will remain jailed for at least another week, a judge said on Monday.

Ted Hakey, 48, of Meriden, Connecticut, was arrested on Thursday and charged with firing at least four shots at the Baitul Aman Mosque in the early morning hours of Nov. 14, after learning of the Nov. 13 attacks that killed 130 people in Paris.

The mosque was empty at the time and no one was injured.

Hakey, a tall, bulky former U.S. Marine, appeared in beige prison garb and did not speak during a detention hearing before Magistrate Judge Sarah Merriam at U.S. District Court in New Haven.If convicted of intentionally damaging religious property with a dangerous weapon, Hakey would face up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Raymond Miller said Hakey's actions made him a threat.

"It's not OK to fire shots in the middle of a residential neighborhood," Miller said.

Miller said Hakey also had allowed an unidentified parolee to live in his home, a violation of federal law. Miller said investigators found 24 firearms and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition at the home.

Merriam called the case serious and said Hakey would remain in custody until at least Dec. 28, when another hearing is scheduled.

Prosecutors said Hakey admitted to firing multiple rounds from a handgun and rifle after a night of drinking but that he contended he had not intended to hit the mosque in the town about 20 miles (32 km) south of Hartford.

Investigators also found a bulletproof vest and paraphernalia related to the Hell's Angels motorcycle gang when they searched Hakey's home and discovered numerous comments in which he said on Facebook that he hated Muslims, authorities said.

"We will offer a vehement defense," his attorney Jeffrey Cohen said.