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Man sentenced driving into mosque { May 20 2003 }

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Man Sentenced for Driving Into Mosque
By Associated Press

May 20, 2003, 5:14 AM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A man who drove his pickup truck into a mosque and yelled anti-Muslim threats has been sentenced to more than two years in federal prison.

Charles Franklin, 41, pleaded guilty to the hate crime in November. U.S. District Judge Stephan Mickle sentenced Franklin to 27 months, crediting him with 14 months he served since being arrested for the March 25, 2002 attack.

Mickle, who could have sentenced Franklin to 20 years, imposed the minimum punishment under federal guidelines.

"You were lucky there were no people in that mosque," Mickle told Franklin.

No one was injured in the crash, which occurred 30 minutes before evening prayers.

Franklin, of Tallahassee, will also pay a $100 court cost and $63,668 in restitution to the Islamic Center Mosque in Tallahassee.

"What I did was wrong," Franklin said at Monday's sentencing.

Franklin's attorney, Randy Murrell, asked for leniency because his client suffers from mental illness and depression and had stopped taking his medications before the incident.
Copyright 2003, The Associated Press

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