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Seattle nightclub arsonist gets 10 years in prison

SEATTLE (AP) -- A man who set fire to a crowded Seattle nightclub on New Year's Eve has been sentenced to 10 years in prison -- twice what prosecutors asked.

No one was injured when 31-year-old Musab Mohammed Masmari ignited gasoline in a stairwell at Neighbors, a gay nightclub.

Masmari was arrested a month later as he prepared to leave the country. He apologized in a statement to the court and said he doesn't remember his actions because he blacked out after drinking a bottle of cheap whiskey.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed to recommend a sentence of no more than five years after Masmari pleaded guilty to arson in U.S. District Court.

The Seattle Times reports ( ) that Judge Ricardo Martinez said Thursday that while Masmari's intentions could not be proven as a hate crime, "common sense tells us exactly what was on Mr. Masmari's mind when he set that fire."


Information from: The Seattle Times,

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