Source: San Antonio Express News
VICTORIA – When Kristopher Thompson’s parents told him on Jan.28, 2017 that the mosque in Victoria had just burned, his first impulse was to text a certain co-worker who was hostile toward Muslims.
“U didn’t help with mosque burning?” was the question he sent to Marq Perez, also an electrician’s apprentice at Hays Electric Company, according to evidence presented at Perez’s arson trial Tuesday.
Perez’s answer: “I didn’t even know there was a fire until I saw the smoke>”
Perez, 26, is on trial for three federal offenses, including arson and committing a hate crime, in connection with the destruction of the gold-domed mosque on Airline Road.
The fire traumatized the small Muslim community here and drew national attention, coming as it did during a debate about President Trump’s move to limit immigration from several Muslim-majority countries.