Former congressional candidate convicted of plotting to burn mosque
A U.S. District Court jury at Chattanooga has convicted Robert Doggart, a former TVA engineer and 2014 independent candidate for Congress, of recruiting people to burn down a mosque in a Muslim community, reports the Times-Free Press.
The verdict came after 16 hours of deliberating over the course of three days. Afterward, a U.S. marshal ushered the 65-year-old across the courtroom and transported him to federal custody in Alabama.
Thursday’s verdict wrapped up a high-profile case for government prosecutors, who argued Doggart needed to be convicted of one count of solicitation to commit a civil rights violation, one count of solicitation to commit arson of a building, and two counts of threat in interstate commerce. For proof, they played several phone calls in which Doggart discussed burning down a mosque at Islamberg and using assault rifles on any Muslims who opposed him or his self-assembled militia.
…”Our nation cannot tolerate threats by those who are willing to kill innocent children, women and men who do not share their religious beliefs or philosophy,” Nancy Harr, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, said in a statement afterward.
… As a result of the conviction, Doggart faces up to 10 years maximum on each of the four charges for which he will be sentenced on May 31.
“I am heartened that citizens from Chattanooga, a community that was victimized by domestic terrorism just 18 months ago, chose to condemn the threat of more terroristic acts,” Harr added. “The jury carefully and attentively listened to the proof, deliberated cautiously for two days, and reached a verdict that reaffirms our American principles.”