An Illinois court tomorrow (Tuesday) will discuss whether to reduce the $5 million bail of John White, who vandalized a synagogue in Lombard last month and apparently planned a shooting attack on the Jewish community, or whether to hold him without bail.
White, a 40-year-old resident of Westmont, pleaded not guilty last Monday after having been arrested on October 21 at Congregation Etz Chaim synagogue where he was found driving his vehicle over the grounds, reports Chicago Tribune. He had smashed out seven windows, written "Kill Israel" and "Death" on the building with a pencil, and was armed with an ax and machetes.
The real eye-opener came when police searched White's house, where they found a cache of four handguns, a rifle, a shotgun and thousands of rounds of ammo.
White's mother revealed that before leaving to commit the vandalism attack, he told her he was going to "shoot Jews." She added that he has bipolar disorder.
"The defendant has clearly expressed his intention to kill or cause harm to those of the Jewish faith," Assistant State's Attorney Joe Lindt wrote in a petition demanding White be held without bail. "If he is admitted to bail he poses a real and present threat to the physical safety of any Jewish person. No conditions of bond could appropriately protect the threatened victims of this case."
On the other side, White's attorney has asked to reduce the bail, which was set based on the presence of the weapons cache, and the fact that White allegedly can access millions of dollars held in a family trust fund.
"He clearly is a threat to us and a threat, I think, to other people as well," Rabbi Steven Bob of the targeted Jewish community told NBC Chicago. "It could have been much worse."
White is currently being held on counts of committing a hate crime, institutional vandalism, and armed violence.
The case of a shooting threat on an American Jewish community brings to mind F. Glenn Miller Jr, who murdered three people during a killing spree at the Kansas Jewish Community Center and nearby Village Shalom care center on April 13, and who gave his first interview on Saturday.