Bellevue mosque arson suspect sentenced to 14 months in prison
BELLEVUE, Wash. -- A homeless man who confessed to setting fire to a Bellevue mosque was sentenced in King County Superior Court on Friday.
Isaac Wayne Wilson will spend a total of 14 months behind bars in prison for the crime.
Wilson listened closely during his sentencing. When it came time for him to speak about his 14 month-prison term, he explained that he needed help, not time behind bars.
“In and out of the hospital for the last 17 years, in and out of jail,” Wilson said.
Back in January, crews battled a fire that ripped through the Islamic Center of the Eastside. Police arrested the 37-year-old man at the scene after they found him lying on the ground near the fire. He confessed to officers that he was the one who torched the mosque.
Prosecutors said Wilson has serious mental health concerns and a long criminal history. He was convicted of assault at the same mosque last year.
After the fire, the Bellevue Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints opened their doors and offered their Muslim neighbors a place for families to gather and pray for as long as they needed.
“It was incredible to see the support they provided us,” said Omer Lone, an Islamic Center board member.
Some members are now attending service at a temporary location on Northeast 21st Street that’s being leased by the mosque.
Mosque leaders hope to open a new mosque by December 2018 and have submitted plans to the City of Bellevue.
On Friday, a thank you sign hangs at the sight of the fire. The Muslim community nearby says it’s grateful and deeply moved by the support from all around Bellevue.
“The neighborhood has been so amazing. So friendly. And so helpful. We don't have enough words to thank them for the support they have provided,” Lone said.
As for the man who committed the crime, Lone said he hopes Wilson gets help.
“We want authorities to help him. If he has mental issues, then he should be helped. Even if we rebuild, we don't' want someone one else to come back again and do the things once again,” Lone said.
Wilson will face 14 months behind bars in prison, as opposed to jail. The judge agreed with prosecutors saying that's where Wilson can get the extra mental health help he needs.