DULUTH – The man who pleaded guilty last week to starting the fire that destroyed the Adas Israel synagogue is back in jail after reportedly disobeying the terms of his release.
Matthew James Amiot was booked into the Douglas County jail in Superior at 7:46 p.m. Monday.
A warrant was issued for Amiot’s arrest Thursday, a day after he was released from jail. He was ordered to remain at CHUM, a downtown Duluth homeless shelter, until his sentencing Oct. 25, but he missed a meeting with a probation officer and did not report to the shelter, according to the warrant.
“The defendant’s whereabouts are unknown,” probation officer Dan Hoeschen wrote.
According to a booking photo, Amiot shaved his head and beard since he was last in court.
Authorities said they did not believe the synagogue fire was a hate crime, even as the incident gained national attention.
Amiot, who is homeless, started clothes on fire in order to keep warm outside the historic synagogue early in the morning Sept. 9, prosecutors said. When the fire grew out of control he tried to spit on it, and when it wouldn’t go out, he walked away.
A firefighter was injured by debris battling the blaze at the nearly 120-year-old synagogue at 302 E. 3rd St.
Amiot pleaded guilty to a felony and a gross misdemeanor for negligently causing fires. He faces a maximum of three years in prison on the felony charge and a year in jail on the gross misdemeanor. Prosecutors previously indicated they would pursue a stayed sentence.