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Arson Trial Set for Heber Motel Owner [Fake Hate-Crime]
Salt Lake Tribune ^ | May 4, 2003 | Ashley Broughton

Posted on 05/04/2003 9:49:20 AM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity

A Heber City motel owner accused of setting his business ablaze and portraying it as a hate crime will stand trial on first-degree felony aggravated arson charges, a 4th District judge has ruled.

Prosecutors allege Mazhar Tabesh, 39, invented a "mystery man" staying in Room 112 of the Alpine Lodge, and that he set the July 21 blaze himself in an effort to escape financial problems.

After a preliminary hearing last month, Judge Donald Eyre delayed a ruling until defense attorney Ron Yengich filed written arguments. But in a ruling filed last week, Eyre bound Tabesh over to stand trial.

An arraignment is scheduled for later this month. If convicted, Tabesh could face a sentence of up to life in prison.

Tabesh blamed the blaze on an arsonist with a post-Sept. 11 hatred for Muslims. A native of Pakistan, Tabesh is a U.S. citizen.

Sympathetic residents raised nearly $1,400 for him toward the estimated $100,000 in damage caused by the fire.

Yengich said police blew small inconsistencies in Tabesh's statement out of proportion. He said Tabesh should have smelled of gasoline if he had set the fire. Yengich also said Tabesh's financial problems proved nothing, although prosecutors say they provided a motive.

A Heber City police officer testified at Tabesh's preliminary hearing that he was losing about $5,900 a month on the motel and still owed $450,000 on the mortgage.

Police and firefighters responding to a call from Tabesh in July found a small closet fire in Room 112 and a larger blaze in an upstairs hallway. Authorities have said accelerants were used in both fires.

Prosecutors said Tabesh's fingerprints were found on a food wrapper in the room.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events; US: Utah
KEYWORDS: arson; fakehatecrime; fakehatecrimes; muslim
When this happened, there was a lot of liberal outcry about how the local muslims are hated and picked-on. It made them look stupid when the community backed this guy out of guilt for supposed hate and discrimination, then got kicked in the teeth when fire investigators showed that the owner started the motel, not some mystery stranger in Room 112.
1 posted on 05/04/2003 9:49:20 AM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity
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To: *fake hate crimes
Ping!!
2 posted on 05/04/2003 9:52:12 AM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity
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To: Utah Girl; glock rocks
The community backed this guy and he got all kinds of attention and sympathy. It turned out the guy faked it.
3 posted on 05/04/2003 9:53:28 AM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
No surprise. In a similar vein, it has always been my contention that most (if not all) abortuary bombings are perpetuated by pro-aborts.
4 posted on 05/04/2003 9:53:30 AM PDT by Texas Eagle
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
Ping!

Fake hate crime alert.
5 posted on 05/07/2003 8:55:46 AM PDT by Kuksool
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To: Kuksool
bump
6 posted on 05/07/2003 5:01:43 PM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity
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