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Carmel synagogue attacker sentenced to three years in federal prison

Posted: 4:52 PM, May 21, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-21 21:11:15-04
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INDIANAPOLIS — The man who violated a Jewish synagogue in Carmel, Indiana last summer was sentenced in federal court on Monday evening to three years in prison.

United States Attorney, Josh J. Minkler, announced that 21-year-old, Nolan Brewer, will serve three years in federal prison for conspiring to violate the civil right of Congregation Shaarey Tefilla on July 28. Additionally, Brewer was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and repay the Carmel synagogue $700 in damage.

Arrested made in Carmel synagogue vandalism

U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt sentenced the Eminence, Indiana man the prison sentence following his guilty plea to a federal hate crime.

The court hearing took about five hours, according to a release from the Department of Justice. Judge Pratt heard testimony and evidence about Brewer's belief in Nazism, which showed that the attack was not "spur-of-the-moment" childhood prank.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Brewer told investigators that he and his wife, a minor, targeted the synagogue because it was "full of ethnic Jews." The Carmel synagogue was located over 50 miles from the couple's home.

The day before the planned attack on the synagogue, the two went to Walmart and purchased red and black spray paint, Gatorade, aluminum foil, Drano cleaner, rubber gloves, styrofoam plates, and bandanas. This was all confirmed via Walmart's surveillance cameras.

The spray paint was used in painting the significant Nazi symbol on the synagogue's property, two Nazi flags that measured several feet and were held by two iron crosses, and burned swastikas into the floor — all symbols of Hitler's Nazi regime.

Anti-Semitic graffiti found on Carmel synagogue

With the other items purchased, the two had planned to create "Drano bombs." The mix of Drano and aluminum foil can cause the release of gas, which in a sealed container, like that of a Gatorade bottle, can build until the point of an overpressure explosion.

After walking one mile from their parked car, the two executed the anti-semitic graffiti and then started to go into the synagogue to set it on fire. Ultimately, the two noticed the security cameras and decided not to enter the temple.

According to the release, multiple co-workers of Brewer's testified that he was open in his practice of white supremacy and identified with Nazism.

The press release stated these explicit details:

"He wore a swastika necklace, spoke of his admiration for Adolf Hitler, and made racist and anti-Semitic remarks. One witness said that Brewer once told him that the Nazis were justified in doing what they did to the Jewish people during the Holocaust. Another witness, who was Brewer’s supervisor at one job, testified that Brewer attempted to recruit other workers to his “movement.” The witness testified that he heard complaints from over a dozen other workers who felt uncomfortable about Brewer espousing Nazism on the jobsite."

Early last month, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed Indiana's hate crimes bill into law. In which, the the bill's current version has been questioned. As the bill does not cover age, sex or gender identity.