Massachusetts
Massachusetts iStock

A Massachusetts man who was found guilty in June of attempting to firebomb a Jewish nursing home has been sentenced to five years in prison.

John Rathbun was convicted in federal court of placing a lit firebomb at the entrance of a Longmeadow, Massachusetts Jewish senior health care facility in April 2020.

After he was found guilty, Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division described his behavior as “dangerous and cruel acts [that] harmed not only the elderly residents of this Jewish assisted living facility, but also the entire community.”

The Springfield, Massachusetts US District Court also placed Rathbun on probation for an additional three years and ordered him not to go near the facility, the Associated Press reported.

He had been charged with attempting to transport or receive explosive devices and attempting to maliciously damage or destroy personal property in an attempt to kill, injure or intimidate.

Police had accused him of placing a five-gallon gas tank in the entranceway of the health care facility, Ruth’s House. In early April, police discovered the gas tank in the building’s entrance along with gasoline and burnt paper that turned out to be the charred remains of a Christian religious flyer.

Investigators suspected that the flyer had been used as a wick in an attempt to ignite the gasoline.

Blood stains were found on the container. DNA evidence from the blood was used to charge Rathbun.