The man who attempted to murder over 700 LGBT people by setting fire to a packed Seattle nightclub on New Year’s Eve is due to be sentenced today.
Under the plea agreement Musab Masmari will serve the mandatory minimum of five years in prison, although the judge in the case could sentence the 31-year-old up to the maximum 20 years allowed by law. Masmari will not face terrorism or a hate crime charges for setting the fire inside the gay nightclub, though prosecutors signaled they may have had a case after learning that a “confidential informant” told investigators that Masmari said homosexuals should be “exterminated.” Prosecutors told CHS Masmari’s motives will be in question as part of the judge’s sentencing. This week, Masmari’s defense filed a personal statement with the court where he blamed his actions on drinking too much alcohol before setting the fire. In the statement Masmari said he drank an entire “cheap bottle of whiskey” on New Year’s Eve and said he did not remember what happened afterwards.
Masmari was arrested in February while attempting to flee the country on a one-way ticket to Turkey.