Fire outside Congregation Beth Israel in Austin
Fire outside Congregation Beth Israel in AustinAustin Fire Department

A Texas man who set fire to an Austin synagogue in an antisemitic attack two years ago was sentenced on Wednesday to 10 years in prison, The Associated Press reported.

Franklin Sechriest, 20, pleaded guilty this past April to arson and a hate crime causing damage to religious property on Halloween 2021.

He also was ordered to pay $470,000 in restitution to Congregation Beth Israel, a Reform synagogue, and to serve an additional three years of supervised release once he gets out of prison, the US Department of Justice said in a news release.

Sechriest, who was a member of the Texas State Guard and a student at Texas State University, had written racist and antisemitic journal entries before setting the fire, federal investigators said. Journal entries included “scout a target” on the day of the attack. Several days later, he wrote, “I set a synagogue on fire."

Security footage showed Sechriest's Jeep at the synagogue just before the blaze started, investigators said. He was seen carrying a 5-gallon container and toilet paper toward the sanctuary doors, and running away from the fire, according to AP.

Sechriest later acknowledged that he targeted the synagogue because of his hatred of Jews, investigators said.