Fort Pierce mosque arsonist gets 30 years

Fort Pierce mosque arsonist gets 30 years

UPDATE: Mosque arsonist sentenced to 30 years in prison, ordered to pay restitution.


The Port St. Lucie man authorities believe set a mosque on fire last year changed his plea Monday to no contest.

The suspect, Joseph Schreiber,  appeared before a judge in Fort Pierce Monday.

The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office said Schreiber previously admitted to them he set the mosque on fire at the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce and was "embarrassed" to have committed the crime.

The 32-year-old has been in jail with no bond since his September arrest a few days after the fire.

Prosecutors said Schreiber is a habitual offender and they plan to prosecute the charge as a hate crime.

Last month, Schreiber sent a letter to the St. Lucie County Clerk of Court referring to an upcoming hearing as his sentencing hearing. However, a sentencing hearing cannot take place until he changes his plea or is convicted.

The fire caused significant damage to the Islamic Center.

Schreiber faced a maximum of 30 years in prison if he convicted.

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