Man pleads no contest in 2010 Corvallis mosque firebombing case - KPTV - FOX 12

Man pleads no contest in 2010 Corvallis mosque firebombing case

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Cody Crawford, 2011 jail booking photo Cody Crawford, 2011 jail booking photo
Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center room damaged by fire in 2010 Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center room damaged by fire in 2010
Fire damage at Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center in 2010 Fire damage at Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center in 2010
Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center
CORVALLIS, OR (KPTV/AP) -

A man accused of firebombing a Corvallis mosque five years ago pleaded no contest in court and issued a statement saying, "It pains me greatly to do a plea bargain."

Cody Crawford pleaded no contest to the charge of causing damage to religious property Tuesday. An additional charge of use of fire to commit a felony was dismissed as part of the plea deal.

Crawford was indicted by a grand jury in August 2011 for the fire at Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center in November 2010.

The mosque fire happened two days after Mohamed Mohamud was arrested for trying to use a fake bomb at the Pioneer Square Christmas tree lighting ceremony as part of an FBI sting.

Authorities said Crawford was motivated by racial hatred after Mohamud's arrest. Mohamud worshipped for a time at the targeted mosque. He was eventually convicted of trying to use a weapon of mass destruction and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Crawford was identified as a person of interest the month following the mosque fire, but he told the Associated Press at the time he was "100 percent innocent."

Crawford has maintained his innocence throughout.

Prosecutors are asking that he be sentenced to five years of probation. Sentencing is scheduled for March 2, 2016.

Crawford released a statement saying the past five years have been a "living hell" and that his father died while he was in custody in 2012.

"I have lost most of my family. I have lost all of my friends. When the price for failure is set so high, at what point does a trial become a game of Russian Roulette. This is not ideal Justice. I have the greatest hope that I can live to see the better days when I have a good job and life. For the most part we make our own fate, yet sometimes there are things that get put before us as a test. I hope that I passed the test a better man."

Nobody was injured in the mosque fire and one room was damaged.

Copyright 2015 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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