Jury selection starts for Texas mosque arson suspect

VICTORIA, Texas – A 26-year-old man accused of setting fire to a south Texas mosque is to the face of a hate-crime charges in federal court.

Marq Vincent Perez is also charged with the use of a fire to commit a federal crime in January 2017 fire that destroyed an Islamic center in Victoria, Texas. The selection of the Jury began Monday.

A federal law enforcement officer testified that an informant said Perez “hated” Muslims, and that he believed the middle of the believers are terrorists.

Authorities last year also charged the man with possession of a non-destructive device in an indictment separate from the mosque fire.

If convicted of the hate crime charge, the most serious count, Perez could be sentenced to 20 years in prison.

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