- Associated Press - Friday, February 13, 2015

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - The trial for a man accused of firebombing the Corvallis mosque in 2010 has been postponed amid a dispute over DNA evidence from outside a damaged office.

Cody Seth Crawford was indicted in August 2011 on a charge of damaging religious property at the Salman Al-Farisi Mosque and using fire to commit a felony.

Authorities said the racial hatred was the motive and the crime was an attack on religious freedom.

The firebombing happened in November 2010, two days after the FBI arrested former Oregon State University student Mohamed Mohamud in a sting operation.

The Somali-born Mohamud believed that he was detonating a van full of explosives parked near the Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square, but there was no bomb. He’s been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

At the Corvallis mosque, court documents said, the damage was caused by a flammable liquid Investigators said they found a soda bottle, cap and flashlight that tested positive for Crawford’s DNA.

Crawford’s defense attorney has opposed introducing the DNA evidence, saying investigators filed incomplete records and the evidence may have been tampered with.

The case was scheduled to go to trial in 2013 but was delayed while Judge Ann Aiken considered a bid to suppress remarks about Muslims that Crawford made to investigators. She ruled they were admissible.

Since then the lawyers have been debating the DNA evidence, the Corvallis Gazette-Times (https://bit.ly/1E99fQN) reported Friday.

“It has been going on a while, hasn’t it?” said federal prosecutor William “Bud” Fitzgerald.

But he said both sides are expected to meet a Feb. 19 deadline to file briefs on the question for Aiken to consider.

Crawford was in June 2012 with orders to wear a GPS device to track his whereabouts.

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Information from: Gazette-Times, https://www.gtconnect.com

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