Life Sentence for Shooting at U.S. Jewish Charity

A judge sentenced a 34-year-old man to life in prison without possibility of release Thursday for killing a woman and injuring five other people in a 2006 rampage at a U.S. Jewish charity.

Naveed Haq and his lawyers pleaded with Judge Paris Kallas to ignore the mandatory life sentence for aggravated first-degree murder, citing his mental problems.

"I am not a man filled with hate," Haq said. "I would like to say I apologize from the depth of my being."

But the judge declined, saying that "Haq understood his plan, knew it was wrong and carried it out anyway."

Haq was found guilty in December.

The July 2006 shooting at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle has been described as Washington state's worst hate crime.

Haq held a teenager at gunpoint as he forced his way into the office. He opened fire, killing fundraising director Pamela Waechter as she tried to flee and wounding five others. Before surrendering, Haq, the son of Pakistani immigrants, ranted against Jews and said he wanted to be on CNN.

The defense said mental illness was to blame. But prosecutors said that even though he was ill, he knew what he was doing. They cited his meticulous planning, including writing material criticizing Israel and using MapQuest to find directions to the center from his family's home in Pasco, 180 miles away.

Prosecutors also played jailhouse recordings of conversations in which Haq told his mother he had done "a good thing."

At the hearing, Tammy Kaiser, a former Jewish Federation worker who was injured when she jumped out a window to escape the shooting, glared at Haq defiantly. She alluded to some of the final words of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl before he was beheaded by Al Qaeda extremists in 2002: "I am Jewish."

Waechter's daughter, Nicole Waechter, told the judge her mother would have wanted her friends and family to move on and keep laughing.

Haq's first trial ended in 2008 with the jury deadlocked over whether he should be found not guilty by reason of insanity.