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Washington man indicted in fires at Jehovah’s Witness halls

By GENE JOHNSON
Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) — A Washington state man who is already in federal custody on weapons and hate crime charges has been indicted in a series of arsons at Jehovah’s Witness kingdom halls. Seattle U.S. Attorney Nick Brown said in a news release Wednesday that the new charges against 50-year-old Mikey Diamond Starrett, also known as Michael Jason Layes, are part of the Justice Department’s efforts to target hate crimes. Prosecutors previously said Starrett was being investigated for eight attacks on the worship halls. Late Tuesday, a federal grand jury in Seattle issued a new indictment charging him in three of them — one in Tumwater and two in Olympia in 2018. He has insisted he is innocent.

Article Topic Follows: AP National News

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