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Friday, May 2, 2014

Masmari Pleads Guilty to Neighbours Arson

Posted by on Fri, May 2, 2014 at 5:00 PM

From the federal courthouse, Ansel reports:

There were 750 people in the nightclub when the fire was set. All escaped unharmed.

UPDATE from Ansel: "It's a great result for the community," said Assistant United States District Attorney Todd Greenberg. "The defendant took responsibility for a serious and violent crime." Masmari's plea agreement recommends a five-year prison sentence plus five years of supervision upon release. However, a federal judge could sentence Masmari up to 20 years in prison at his upcoming sentencing hearing. Susan Storey from the King County Prosecutor's office was tight-lipped and would not explain, when asked, why the case was transferred to federal court, but she did say the standard charge for arson at the county level is 21-27 months. "Five years is a much better result," Storey said.

In the courtroom, a bearded Masmari was demure and extremely slow to respond as the judge asked him whether he agreed with all the provisions of the plea agreement. What about the question of whether this was a hate crime? "Nothing has happened with it yet," Greenberg, from the US Attorney's office, told reporters. "One of the issues for the court at the time of sentencing will be to address the motive." Judge Ricardo Martinez will preside over the sentencing hearing on July 31.


Comments (20) RSS

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Phoebe in Wallingford 1
That's a relief to potential victims, the DA's office, and all taxpayers. Now its on to life with no possibility of parole.
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on May 2, 2014 at 5:07 PM · Report this
Sounds like just a little vandalism to me, certainly not violence.
Posted by bigyaz on May 2, 2014 at 5:16 PM · Report this
Fnarf 3
Whenever I think about that night, I think about the Cocoanut Grove fire in Boston in 1942, right next to a place I lived fifty years later. 492 died that night, in just a few minutes. So horrifying. Thank god it didn't happen here.
Posted by Fnarf on May 2, 2014 at 5:31 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 4
@2: If nobody was there versus it being filled to the brim with people at the time, you might've been accurate. Instead you're left with a bizarre endorsement of attempted murder.
Posted by undead ayn rand on May 2, 2014 at 5:44 PM · Report this
venomlash 5
@1: You are part of what is wrong with America.
Posted by venomlash on May 2, 2014 at 5:55 PM · Report this
McBomber 6
@4, I think (but could be wrong) that @2 was making a snarky reference to Brendan's vandalism vs violence screed back in '12.
Posted by McBomber on May 2, 2014 at 5:56 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 7
@2, wait? What???

A little vandalism? Seriously? There were 750 people inside that building. Masmari attempted to set fire to the stairway to the balcony, potentially trapping a bunch of people upstairs. It is only dumb luck and quick work with a fire extinguisher that saved hundreds of people from being burned to death.

I get that not everyone is comfortable with gay people, but you've got to be a psychopath not to care that hundreds of people could have died in that fire.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on May 2, 2014 at 5:58 PM · Report this
mr. herriman 8
This was not "just" arson, it was attempted mass murder by arson.
Posted by mr. herriman on May 2, 2014 at 6:14 PM · Report this
mikethehammer 9
@6, you're not wrong, @2 was definitely a reference to the vandal/violent debate.
Posted by mikethehammer on May 2, 2014 at 6:26 PM · Report this
seatackled 10
Of course he was, but he was still being a dick about it for the reason outlined @4.
Posted by seatackled on May 2, 2014 at 6:32 PM · Report this
Amazing video of the fire and folks escaping. Damn, they were lucky:
Posted by Biggles on May 2, 2014 at 10:59 PM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 12
@5: What, you want parole after (x) years -- or a less than life (y)-year sentence with parole after (z) years? Okay, please enlighten us on your argument. Or, perhaps you want a public defender to persuade him to reconsider his plead under a duress clause?
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on May 3, 2014 at 1:21 AM · Report this
venomlash 13
@12: Life imprisonment without possibility of parole is the second most severe punishment in our judicial system. It, like the death penalty, should be reserved for the most heinous offenders committing the most depraved crimes-against-the-person.
Why? Because they are ENTIRELY about punishment and give no regard to rehabilitation, essentially declaring that the convict is psychologically/sociologically beyond repair. Mr. Masmari has a middling criminal record, full of disruption but with no real history of violence. Certainly, many people could have died due to his actions, but we punish attempted murder less severely than completed murder for a reason.
Given that the charges would be arson, reckless endangerment, and/or attempted murder, it would be unjust to sentence him to life without parole. The stated range of 5 to 20 years imprisonment is just, in my opinion.
Posted by venomlash on May 3, 2014 at 3:33 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 14
I was under the impression this rat scumbag was from Turkey. If so, after he's out deport his sick ass back to Turkey and put him on the no fly list.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on May 3, 2014 at 4:25 AM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 15
@13 normally I'd agree, but for attempted murder of 750 people?
Posted by Joe Szilagyi on May 3, 2014 at 8:29 AM · Report this
The Islamaphobic and anti-immigrant subtext of many comments in this thread is deeply troubling.
Posted by Billy Chav on May 3, 2014 at 9:27 AM · Report this
@14 -- Unfortunately for your thesis, he's American. His plane ticket was to Turkey, one-way.
Posted by Calpete on May 3, 2014 at 9:38 AM · Report this
I know Musab. Musab was born here. His parents are Libyan. I'm glad he pled guilty. I'm one of the people who contacted authorities. I told them if they approached him right, appealed to his sense of honor, he would fess up. And he did.

He's not a terrorist. Nor really homophobic. He is a troubled, emotionally disturbed young man, that I hope, but I doubt, will finally get help. Prison is the last place to get psychological treatment.

But he wasn't always like this. In fact he was delightful. Something happened. I don't know what. But clearly he had a break. We tried to alert his family. But what could they do? Something like this was bound to happen. Im just glad nobody got hurt. Frankly, It's a tradgedy all round.

Posted by tkc on May 3, 2014 at 10:22 AM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 19
@13: Thank you. But it's more serious than attempted murder or reckless endangerment in my opinion as enduring burn rehabilitation, scaring, and a lifetime of intense pain and suffering for any victims that would have survived makes it a particularly heinous and evil attempt.
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on May 3, 2014 at 11:40 AM · Report this
Attempted mass murder, and he faces a single charge of attempted arson. And the conservative straight white attorney who brokered this deal says, "It's a great result for the community." As if we needed further proof about the extremely low regard the Obama administration has for us.
Posted by TechBear on May 6, 2014 at 5:01 AM · Report this

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