(June 30, 2020 / JNS) The trial of an alleged white supremacist charged in attempt to blow up a Colorado synagogue has been rescheduled for the second time.
U.S. District Court Judge Raymond Moore scheduled a Feb. 22 trial date last week in the case against Richard Holzer, after pushing the date from July 13 to Nov. 12. The judge allotted five days for the trial.
Holzer’s legal team does not plan to plan to make an insanity defense, said federal public defender Mary Butterton.
Holzer, 27, was arrested on Nov. 1 after federal authorities gave him two fake pipe bombs and 14 sticks of dynamite to detonate at Temple Emanuel, Colorado’s second-oldest synagogue, in Pueblo, about two hours from Denver.
He was charged with intentionally attempting to obstruct persons in the enjoyment of their free exercise of religious beliefs through force, and the attempted use of explosives and fire.
Holzer allegedly met with undercover agents posing as fellow white supremacists to discuss a plan to attack Temple Emanuel; they then visited the synagogue together. An affidavit alleges that he then made additional trips on his own to inspect the synagogue and coordinated with undercover agents to obtain explosives to “get that place off the map.”
On the evening of Nov. 1, Holzer allegedly met with undercover agents, who provided him with inert explosive devices that had been fabricated by the FBI, including two pipe bombs and 14 sticks of dynamite. Holzer planned to detonate the explosives several hours later, in the early hours of Nov. 2, according to the affidavit.
He told undercover FBI agents that he wanted to do something to tell Jewish people in the community that they are not welcome in Pueblo—and that they should leave or they will die. The affidavit states that during a meeting with the undercover agents, Holzer repeatedly expressed his hatred of Jewish people and his support for a racial holy war.
Following his arrest, Holzer confessed to the plot, but said that he wasn’t trying to hurt anyone, even though he would have blown up the house of worship if someone had been inside.
If convicted, Holzer could face up to 20 years in prison.
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