Islamic Center moves forward, suspect withdraws guilty plea - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Islamic Center moves forward, suspect withdraws guilty plea

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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

The Indiana man accused of starting the fire at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo, Randy Linn, has now requested to withdraw his guilty plea.

Linn said he was in an emotional state, and depressed, when he pleaded guilty, and he is now asking a federal judge to withdraw the plea.

Cherrefe Kadri, president of the Islamic Center, said the request doesn't bother her.

"Linn certainly has the constitutional right to withdraw his plea," Kadri said. "We'll let the system deal with it...It doesn't really affect us at this point because he's in custody...The system has worked for us so far, I'm sure it'll continue and justice will...prevail."

The center was set on fire in September. Kadri said work has been moving along according to plan, and the center should be ready to open its doors again in late March or early April.

The center suffered mostly from smoke and water damage. Kadri said the vinyl floors have been replaced and all the walls have been re-painted.

"It was beautiful before," Kadri said. "It's more beautiful, it's a new beautiful."

But they cannot let anyone inside yet, because the upstairs still present a danger.

Kadri said the Muslim community has had difficulty adjusting to life without the center over the past four months. She said it was not only a place of worship, but also a social center.

"It's sad," she said. "It's a stab wound, that somebody would come in and violate you the way Mr. Linn did. But it happened, you deal with it, and you know, we're a strong community, so we're fine and we'll be fine."

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