The homeless man who pleaded guilty to setting a historic Duluth synagogue on fire is wanted by police again for reportedly violating the conditions of his release.
A warrant was issued Thursday for Matthew J. Amiot’s arrest just two days after he appeared in court to plead guilty to setting the fire that destroyed the Adas Israel Congregation synagogue earlier this month.
Amiot, 36, was released from jail on Wednesday on the condition that he remain at CHUM, a downtown Duluth homeless shelter, until his sentencing next month.
“No fires, no trouble, no nothing,” Sixth Judicial District Judge Shaun Floerke told Amiot during Tuesday’s court hearing.
Amiot disappeared quickly as he failed to show up for a meeting with the probation office and did not report to CHUM as required Wednesday, according to the arrest warrant.
“The defendant’s whereabouts are unknown,” probation officer Dan Hoeschen wrote.
Tuesday’s hearing had been moved up from an October date to accommodate Amiot, who had a long-scheduled housing meeting on Wednesday. He said he had been waiting three years for a chance at housing assistance.
Prosecutors had argued he should remain in jail until his sentencing due to a criminal history they said is largely related to his past homelessness.
Amiot was charged with a felony and a gross misdemeanor for negligently causing fires at the synagogue, debris from which injured a firefighter. Prosecutors said Amiot started clothes on fire outside the synagogue to keep warm. The flames got out of control and he spit on the fire to try to put it out. When that failed, he walked away.
Amiot faces a maximum of three years in prison on the felony charge and a year in jail on the gross misdemeanor. Prosecutors previously said they planned to ask the court for a stayed sentence, meaning Amiot will be spared jail time if he follows the conditions of his release.
That could change given the violations of his release alleged in the arrest warrant. Amiot’s sentencing is Oct. 25.