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Murfreesboro man charged with obstruction of justice in Islamic Center vandalism

Staff Reports • Sep 1, 2017 at 1:39 PM

Charles Dwight Stout III, 19, of Murfreesboro, was charged Wednesday in an ongoing investigation into the July 10 vandalism of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro.

According to the indictment, Stout and another man vandalized the Islamic Center by placing bacon around an entrance and spray painting profane references to Allah on the outside of the building.

Both men wore masks to hide their identities, and Stout used a cellphone to take photos during the vandalism.

Members of the Islamic Center discovered the vandalism within hours of it happening, when they attended morning prayer and immediately reported it to law enforcement.

Following the vandalism, Stout destroyed the clothing he wore and permanently deleted the photographs he took with his cellphone.

“The tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia remind us of the devastating impact that acts of hate have on our communities and our neighbors,” said acting U.S. attorney Jack Smith. “When we are confronted with acts of hate it is incumbent upon every American to speak loudly and clearly that we will not tolerate such actions in America. Our reaction to such acts of hate speaks to who we are as individuals and as a society. Where those actions constitute federal crimes, it is incumbent on federal authorities to vigorously investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of such heinous acts.”

Stout surrendered to U.S. marshals Friday morning and made an initial appearance Friday afternoon before a U.S. magistrate.

If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison. 

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