Convicted arsonist's motion to withdraw plea denied

A federal judge rejected a moton from a convicted arsonist to have his guilty plea withdrawn. In December 52-year-old Randy Lin of St. Joe's, Indiana agreed to a plea deal with federal prosecutors. Lin admitted in court that he attempted to set fire to the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo. No one was hurt in the September 30 incident but the fire caused extensive damage and the subsequent repairs have cost tens of thousands of dollars. As part of the binding plea agreement Lin accepted a 20 year federal prison sentence.

Thursday morning Lin was back in the courtroom of Judge Jack Zouhary claiming he was mentally unfit at the time of the plea deal. John Thebes, Lin's new attorney, argued unsuccessfully for the withdrawal of the guilty plea and a psychological examination of his client. "Maybe the judge was right, but what if he was wrong and my client did have some issues when this incident happened," Mr. Thebes said.

Lin will be formally sentenced on April 16. He is facing a 20 year sentence.