Man Who Started Synagogue Fire Opts for Prison

Matthew Amiot has opted to go to prison rather than continue probation. Matthew Amiot has opted to go to prison rather than continue probation. |  Photo: St. Louis County Jail

Updated: November 15, 2019 01:21 PM

The man convicted of starting the fire that destroyed the Adas Israel Congregation Synagogue in September has opted to go to prison.


Thirty-six-year-old Matthew James Amiot exercised his option to have the prison sentence executed during a hearing Friday.  He had been released on probation following sentencing in October, but was arrested on an alleged probation violation on Nov. 5.

Amiot had pleaded guilty to one felony county of negligent fires and one misdemeanor count of negligent fire causing bodily harm.  On October 25, Judge Shaun Floerke sentenced Amiot to 1 year and 1 day in prison but issued a stay on that sentence as long as Amiot met other conditions that would have included four years of probation, 90 days in jail, and 192 hours of community service.

Assistant St. Louis County Attorney Vicky Wanta explained that defendants always have the option to execute their prison sentence at any time, for any reason.

Amiot will receive credit for 56 days already served in jail.  Wanta said he will serve two-thirds of the sentence in prison and one-third on parole.

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