Man Convicted Of Hate Crime For Grand Forks Cafe Fire Receives 15 Years
FARGO, N.D. (AP) - A Minnesota man who pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime for firebombing a Somali restaurant across the border in North Dakota has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Matthew Gust, of East Grand Forks, Minnesota, pleaded guilty in May to a federal hate crime for the December fire at the Juba Coffee House in Grand Forks. Prosecutors say Gust did not like Somalis and did not want them living in the Grand Forks area.
Defense attorney Theodore Sandberg says Gust was striking back after "several men of Somali decent" had previously robbed him and a family member. Sandberg says his client suffers from numerous medically diagnosed conditions.
U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson said during a more than 90-minute hearing Tuesday that Gust has a "huge anger management problem."