LOS ANGELES, Dec. 3 (JTA) — Five skinheads who attempted to firebomb a synagogue in Reno, Nev., one year ago have been sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.
On Nov. 30, 1999, the five, aged 19 to 26, accompanied by two teen-age girls, tried unsuccessfully to burn down Temple Emanu-El, home to an 80-year old Conservative congregation.
The sentence “sends a very strong message that this kind of hatred is not going to be tolerated, at least not in this community,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden said following last week’s sentencing by Judge David Hagen.
According to the defendants’ testimony and plea bargain, which avoided possible 40-year sentences, one of the skinheads threw a liter bottle filled with concrete and a Molotov cocktail at the temple’s 8-foot window.
The concrete bottle shattered — but did not break — the window, and the gas-filled bottle only scorched the sidewalk, according to reports in the Reno Gazette-Journal newspaper and wire services.
Joshua Kudlacek, at 19 the youngest of the defendants, received a five-year sentence.
Terms of between 14 and 15 years were imposed on Scott Hudson, Daniel McIntosh, Carl DeAmicis and Christopher Hampton. They were also ordered to pay the temple $3,743.50 for damage to the window.
Prosecutor Bogden gave a slide presentation of the defendants’ “clubhouse,” which showed Nazi and Confederate flags, a “Whites Only” sign and a photo of Ku Klux Klan members in full regalia.
Three of the defendants sported Nazi tattoos in the video. The most prominent was a 4-inch-high swastika, outlined in red and black, just above the right ear of DeAmicis’ shaved head.
“You can look him right in the head, and you see that swastika carved in his head. It’s red. He wanted it red, but he had to do something to earn it — that was to throw the fire bomb,” said Bogden.
Later Bogden explained that the “skinhead mentality is to earn ‘reds’ you must draw blood.” When DeAmicis “filled the tattoo in red, it obligated him to draw blood or some other serious offense.”
The U.S. attorney also quoted McIntosh as saying he had targeted Jews because “they are evil, they control the media and they put racial mixing on TV and that is wrong.”