To view original article click here
The Associated Press
Friday, November 8, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A man who drove his pickup truck into a mosque and yelled anti-Muslim threats pleaded guilty Friday to a federal hate crime, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Charles D. Franklin, 41, of Tallahassee, pleaded guilty to intentionally damaging the Islamic Center Mosque in Tallahassee.
He could be sentenced to 20 years in prison at a hearing set for Feb. 18.
Franklin drove his truck into the door of the mosque near the Florida State University campus on March 25. He shouted slurs against Islam and threats against Muslims during his arrest, federal prosecutors said.
No one was injured in the crash, which occurred 30 minutes before evening prayers.
During a taped interview with Tallahassee police played at an earlier hearing, Franklin said he “wanted to blow the … Muslims up.”
Later on the tape, Franklin says he didn’t want to kill anyone but wanted Muslims to know “they’re not safe here.”
Franklin, a carpenter, also said he was diagnosed with depression and social phobia and had recently stopped taking medication.
Timothy Jansen, Franklin’s lawyer, did not immediately return a phone message Friday seeking comment.