Marine veteran Ted Hakey, Jr. was arrested Thursday for the November shooting at Baitul Aman Mosque, located next door to his home in Meriden, CT.
Hakey appeared in New Haven federal court Monday morning for a detention hearing, according to myrecordjournal.com.
The judge said he’s being held without bond because he’s accused of a federal offense with a firearm. Hakey is officially charged with a hate crime for damages to religious property, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Raymond Miller argued that Hakey should be held without bond because he’s a “threat to the community.” Hakey’s attorney, Jeffrey B. Cohen, asked that the hearing be continued. “We have and will have many responses,” he said. “I expect to be arguing very vehemently.”
Police received reports of gunshots in the area near the mosque about 2 a.m. Nov. 14, just hours after the terrorist attacks in Paris. During an initial interview with federal agents, Hakey claimed he didn’t yet know about the Paris events when he fired shots at the mosque. He admitted he was drunk the night he fired a 9mm handgun and M14 rifle in his yard.
Nobody was in the mosque at the time, however, members went to pray there with their children the following day and discovered a hole in the wall and a bullet on the floor. Three in total entered the building, according to investigators. “One bullet went through the prayer area in the mosque, about 3 feet off the ground,” Miller said.
Miller added, “I think the evidence will show his motive was because it was a Muslim religious facility.” Hakey told the FBI he didn’t intend to hit the mosque and didn’t “harbor any ill feelings toward Muslims.”
However, Miller argued at the hearing on Monday that Hakey’s Facebook account “tells a completely different story.”
According to investigators, he’s a member of several anti-Islam groups. Hakey later admitted, in a second interview with the FBI, that he learned about the Paris attacks — through a Facebook message– shortly before going to a local bar, the night of the shooting at the mosque. Authorities found a chair in the attic of his house -in front of a window facing the mosque’s direction- which they believe was used to watch the mosque.
Several days after the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris, Hakey said in a Facebook conversation with an unidentified person that he lives next door to a mosque. “I observe them with my binos (binoculars),” he wrote…Way too many military aged males. Some days it’s ALL MEN!!”
Hakey also reportedly wrote in a Facebook comment that “we must hunt down and kill radical Islam on our soil.” After the Chattanooga shootings in July, he made several derogatory comments about Muslims on Facebook, saying “I’m in a target rich environment!”
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