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Murfreesboro man pleads guilty to federal civil rights charges in Islamic Center vandalism

Staff Reports • May 9, 2018 at 4:50 PM

NASHVILLE – Charles Dwight Stout, 20, of Murfreesboro, pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court to conspiracy to damage religious property and to causing damage to religious property because of its religious charter.

Stout was indicted in September 2017 with Thomas Gibbs, 18, of Murfreesboro, and charged with conspiring to commit a civil rights violation and committing a civil rights violation through damaging and defacing the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro.

According to the plea agreement, Stout admitted he conspired July 10, 2017 to vandalize the Islamic Center by placing bacon, a pork product forbidden by Islam, around an entrance; and spray-painted profane references to Allah on multiple parts of the center’s exterior; and concealed his identity in the commitment of these crimes by wearing a Soviet World War II-era gas mask.

Stout was previously indicted Aug. 30, 2017 for obstructing a federal investigation by deleting photographic evidence. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the government dismissed the obstruction charge, and Stout agreed to a sentence of one year supervised release and the payment of restitution in an amount determined by the court when he’s sentenced Aug. 13.

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