NEWARK, N.J. – A Washington state man charged with a terrorism count for allegedly killing a New Jersey college student because he was angry about U.S. foreign policy was sentenced Wednesday in an unrelated armed robbery case after refusing to take part in a court hearing.
Ali Muhammad Brown has been accused of killing four people in two states in a fit of rage over the U.S. government's role in the Middle East. He wore ear plugs during Wednesday's hearing and was flanked by 10 sheriff's office deputies.
Brown, who has refused to leave his jail cell, was convicted of robbery in an unrelated case in New Jersey last year. He received a 36 1/2-year sentence in that case on Wednesday.
His lawyer, Albert Kapin, told a state judge that he still wants to get some more evidence and plans to file some motions in the terrorism case. But Kapin would not say if he would seek to have the charges dismissed.
Brendan Tevlin, a 19-year-old University of Richmond student, was shot at a West Orange traffic light on June 25, 2014, as he drove to his home to Livingston.
Brown also faces three aggravated murder charges in Washington: the April 27, 2014, shooting of 30-year-old Leroy Henderson in Skyway, south of Seattle, and the June 1, 2014, shooting deaths of two young men outside a Seattle gay nightclub, Ahmed Said and Dwone Anderson-Young.
Authorities in Seattle have said that Brown described himself to detectives as a strict Muslim who was angry with the U.S. government's role in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan because of the death of innocent civilians and children.
The case is the first filed under a New Jersey anti-terrorism statute passed following the Sept. 11 attacks.
Other states have similar laws, though they have rarely been used. Some state charges, such as ones filed against gang members in New York, have failed to survive the courts. More recently, though, New York state successfully prosecuted two cases under its terrorism law against men who had planned bomb attacks.