Accused mosque arsonist allowed to withdraw guilty plea

Surveillance video of Linn outside the mosque just before the fire.

UPDATE: According to the U.S. Department of Justice, a district court judge did not grant the man accused of mosque arson to withdraw his guilty plea, but rather, granted permission to file a new motion with the aid of an attorney.

When Linn filed to withdraw his guilty plea on Jan. 22, he did not request the assistance of a lawyer. Linn wanted to withdraw that motion so his attorney could then file to withdraw the plea for him.

The motion filed by Linn's attorney on March 6 is still pending and will be the subject of a hearing on March 21, according to Michael Tobin of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Original report: A U.S. District Court judge, presiding in the Northern District of Ohio, has allowed a man accused of setting a fire at a mosque to withdraw his guilty plea.

In December 2012, Randolph "Randy" Linn initially pled guilty to setting a fire at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo in Perrysburg on September 30th, 2012.

He was then sentenced to a 20-years in prison and told Judge Jack Zouhary that he had targeted the Islamic Center because of incidents he read about in newspapers, heard on the radio and on FOX News.

Just over a month later, however, the Indiana resident hired a new lawyer and filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea.

Linn's attorney also asked for a competency trial but that motion was denied during Linn's hearing on Tuesday.

The Islamic Center has been undergoing repairs for several months, following the fire, but is expected to host its first Friday prayer service this week.