AP NEWS

Jurors shown mosque arson suspect’s anti-Muslim writings

July 11, 2018

FILE - In this Jan. 11, 2018, file photo, Marq Vincent Perez, who is accused of intentionally setting a fire that destroyed a mosque in Victoria, Texas, is escorted from the federal courthouse in Victoria after a pretrial hearing. Prosecutors say Perez, on trial for federal arson and hate crime charges, made plans to create a "rogue unit" to monitor and possibly confront Muslims at the Islamic center. (Evan Lewis/The Victoria Advocate via AP, File)

VICTORIA, Texas (AP) — Prosecutors say a Texas man accused of torching a mosque made plans to create a “rogue unit” to monitor and possibly confront Muslims at the Islamic center.

Marq Vincent Perez is on trial for federal arson and hate crime charges for the 2017 fire that destroyed a mosque in Victoria, about 120 miles (190 kilometers) southwest of Houston. On Tuesday, jurors saw private messages and Facebook posts that prosecutors say show Perez’s dislike and suspicion of Muslims.

They also heard from a federal investigator who said Perez’s phone contained four photos of the burning mosque.

Perez has said he was not involved in the blaze. According to the Express-News , defense attorney Mark DiCarlo hinted that alibis may be presented later in the trial, which is expected to last two weeks.

AP RADIO
Update hourly