The Latest: Ex-convict sentenced to 30 years in mosque fire

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Posted: Feb 06, 2017 3:19 PM
The Latest: Ex-convict sentenced to 30 years in mosque fire

FORT PIERCE, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the sentencing of an ex-convict in the arson fire at a Florida mosque (all times local):

3 p.m.

An ex-convict who investigators say confessed to setting fire to a Florida mosque tied to the Orlando nightclub shooter has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Thirty-two-year-old Joseph Schreiber pleaded no contest to second-degree arson during Monday's hearing in Fort Pierce. A no contest plea is treated the same as a guilty plea.

Prosecutor Steve Gosnell says Schreiber confessed to detectives that he set the fire, saying he believed Muslims "are trying to infiltrate our government" and that "the teaching of Islam should be completely, completely illegal."

Schreiber read a written statement where he said the fire was not cause by hate but by his anxiety.

Schreiber set the fire at the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce last Sept. 11, the 15th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks. No one was injured in the fire. Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen sometimes attended the mosque.

Last July, Schreiber, who is Jewish, posted on Facebook that "All Islam is radical" and that all Muslims should be treated as terrorists and criminals.

This story has been corrected to fix the spelling of Joseph Schreiber's name from Schneider.

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2:30 p.m.

An ex-convict who investigators say confessed to setting fire to a Florida mosque tied to the Orlando nightclub shooter pleaded no contest to those charges.

Joseph Schreiber pleaded no contest to second-degree arson during Monday's hearing in Fort Pierce. A no contest plea is treated the same as a guilty plea and he could get up to 30 years in prison when sentenced.

The 32-year-old Schreiber set the fire at the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce last Sept. 11, the 15th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks. No one was injured in the fire. Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen sometimes attended the mosque.

Last July, Schreiber, who is Jewish, posted on Facebook that "All Islam is radical" and that all Muslims should be treated as terrorists and criminals.