Temple Jacob vandalism trial set


Daily Mining Gazette

MARQUETTE — The trial of a Hancock man accused of vandalizing Temple Jacob with anti-Semitic graffiti in 2019 is now scheduled for January.

Nathan Weeden appeared in U.S. District Court for a status conference Friday. His trial was originally scheduled for October before his new attorney received a continuance to review files in the case.

Both sides agreed the new start date of Jan. 22 provided enough time to prepare, according to the order from Judge Robert Jonker. The jury trial will be held in Marquette.

“The court finds that the ends of justice served by the granting of a continuance outweighs the best interest of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial,” Jonker wrote.

A final pretrial is scheduled to take place 10 a.m. Dec. 27 in Grand Rapids.

Weeden faces two counts: conspiracy against rights, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and damage to religious property, punishable by imprisonment of up to one year.

According to his indictment, Weeden conspired with other members of The Base, a multi-state white supremacist organization over an encrypted messaging app. They discussed a plan to vandalize non-white and Jewish-owned businesses, which they dubbed “Operation Kristallnacht,” over a six-day span in September 2019.

Multiple people involved with the plot have already appeared in federal court.

Richard Tobin, the New Jersey resident who sent the message directing the attacks, was sentenced to a year and a day in prison in 2021.

Wisconsin resident Yousef Barasneh pleaded guilty in July 2020 to defacing a synagogue in Racine, Wisconsin. His sentencing hearing, originally scheduled for November 2020, has been delayed twice.

A status report on both sides’ preferred date for a hearing is scheduled for Oct. 14 in the Eastern District of Wisconsin court.


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