Service :
28 September 2016 - 00:40
News ID: 423943
Rasa - A man responsible for vandalizing a Palm Beach County mosque last year pleaded guilty and was sentenced Monday to four years and two months in prison.
Windows were found broken before dawn at the Islamic Center of Palm Beach, 101 Castlewood Dr. North Palm Beach, on Friday, Dec. 4, 2015. (Maria Lorenzino / Sun Sentinel)

RNA - The resolution of the case against Joshua Killets comes just 15 days after another man was accused of torching a Fort Pierce mosque in what authorities say was a hate crime.


Killets, 28, had faced up to life in prison for the charges of burglary of a structure with damage in excess of $1,000 while evidencing prejudice and criminal mischief to a place of worship. Prosecutors called the act against The Islamic Center of Palm Beach a hate crime.


Killets, of Juno Beach, smashed a dozen windows and tore down shutters at about 2:30 a.m. Dec. 4 at the North Palm Beach property. Then, authorities said, he bragged about it before his arrest later that same day.


In a Facebook post that was not connected with the investigation, Killets appeared in photos holding a handgun and an AR-15 rifle. Captions read: "That AR -15 will put down any radical Islamic!! I wish they would!!!," and "Yea it's bout that time!! The worlds [sic] gone crazy!! Ima be ready to protect mines !! Best believe!!!"


On Monday, Circuit Judge Glenn Kelley approved the plea agreement negotiated by Assistant State Attorney Marci Rex and defense attorney Michael Salnick.


Along with being branded a convicted felon, Killets also must pay a $1,000 insurance deductible for repairs at the mosque,101 Castlewood Drive.


North Palm Beach police arrested Killets after a tipster told them he had boasted about the vandalism, had cuts on his hands, and drove a Jeep Grand Cherokee matching the description of the vehicle recorded by the center's surveillance cameras.


The video shows the Jeep pulling up to the mosque. A man exits the Jeep with a tire iron, wearing a Miami Heat hat and covering his face, according to an arrest report.


Killets broke in through a women's bathroom before causing the destruction. Cameras recorded a man leaving the premises at 3:11 a.m., getting into the Jeep and driving away.


Police located Killets about 7 p.m., and he told a detective that he drove to the mosque and caused the mess, according to the report.


"He also stated that in the process of causing the damage, he injured himself, which caused him to bleed," a detective wrote in the report, which notes there was blood spatter on the windows, shutters and parts of the wall.


Representatives of the mosque could not be immediately reached for comment about Killets' sentencing.


The vandalism happened just days after a massacre in San Bernardino, Calif., which authorities declared an act of terrorism inspired, but not directed, by foreign terror groups.


In the Sept. 11, 2016, attack on the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce, a Port St. Lucie man riding a motorcycle pulled up to the mosque, poured an accelerant on the door and set the building ablaze. It was declared a hate crime.


That mosque had been in the news because Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen had prayed there.


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