Jan 30 (Reuters) – A far-right extremist from Ohio was sentenced to 18 years in federal prison for firebombing a church that planned to host two drag events, a court filing showed on Tuesday.
Aimenn Penny, 20, was a member of White Lives Matter, Ohio, a group with racist, pro-Nazi and homophobic views, according to the U.S. Justice Department.
This is the extent of the damage.
He was arrested last March several days after he threw Molotov cocktails at the Community Church of Chesterland in Chesterland, Ohio. Penny pleaded guilty in October to a church arson hate crime and to using fire and explosives to commit a felony. He was sentenced to 216 months, or 18 years, in prison by U.S. District Judge Bridget Meehan Brennan, according to a filing in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.
After his arrest, he admitted to FBI agents that he threw the Molotov cocktails at the church with the intent of burning it down. He said the night of the incident he became “more and more angry” after watching videos online about drag shows in France.
“Penny stated that he was trying to protect children and stop the drag show event,” prosecutors wrote.
He also said he was doing “God’s work” and his only regret was the church didn’t burn to the ground.
Inside Penny’s vehicle, prosecutors wrote, authorities found a “M4 A1 Carbine 5.56mm assault rifle with scope, 7 rifle magazines containing 5.56mm ammunition, a Ruger handgun, 3 magazines containing 9mm ammunition, a tactical vest, a shield, and 3 knives in sheaths” while a search of his residence found “a Glock 9mm handgun, 4 magazines containing 9 mm ammunition, a Smith and Wesson MP-15 rifle, a Walther Pistol Model P22, Iver Johnson Arms & Cycle Works 12-gauge shotgun, 15 magazines loaded with ammunition, various boxes of ammunition, and Nazi memorabilia.”