Drug Addict Found Not Guilty for Setting 12 Mezuzot on Fire Inside Brooklyn Jewish Apartment Buildings
A jury on Wednesday found a Brooklyn drug addict not guilty for setting a dozen mezuzot on fire inside two Williamsburg-based, Orthodox Jewish apartment buildings, New York Post reported.
Ruben Ubiles, 36, burned 11 of the mezuzot on Holocaust Memorial Day in 2013. A jury acquitted him on 12 arson charges on Wednesday but he will still face up to 15 years in prison “‹for burglary. Ubiles, who has 40 prior arrests, will be sentenced on Jan. 14.
When the jury announced the not guilty verdict for the arson counts Ubiles turned and smiled to his girlfriend, according to the Post. Ubiles was hiding naked under his girlfriend’s bed when police came to arrest him for the arsons.
“I realize mezuzahs have a lot of meaning to Jewish people, but that wasn’t featured in the charges,” said a juror, who added that Ubiles’ videotaped confession was both unclear and unconvincing. “It just came down to there wasn’t enough evidence for the arsons [but] someone obviously started the fires. Maybe he got lucky that there wasn’t surveillance footage on those floors.”
Ubiles’ defense attorney, Morris Shamuil, said his client went into the Jewish apartment building to do drugs and has maintained from the start that he did not start any fires.