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Lincoln man who spray-painted swastikas at synagogue says there was 'no hate behind it'
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Lincoln man who spray-painted swastikas at synagogue says there was 'no hate behind it'

From the What you missed this week in notable Southeast Nebraska crimes and court cases series

A 22-year-old Lincoln man convicted of a hate crime for spray-painting swastikas and racial epithets on a Lincoln synagogue apologized to the Jewish community at his sentencing Friday, saying there was "no hate behind it."

"I did it because I needed the money," Noah Miller said. 

He claimed a Jewish man paid him to do it. There was no evidence to prove his claim; no one else was charged.

Noah Miller

Noah Miller

"I don't hate nobody," Miller told Lancaster County District Judge Andrew Jacobsen before he was sentenced to a year of incarceration for it, plus another six months on a drug charge.

Miller, who pleaded no contest to criminal mischief enhanced as a hate crime and attempted possession of methamphetamine, also will have to serve a year on post-release supervision when he gets out. 

Deputy Lancaster County Attorney Tara Parapart said Miller hurt many people in the community by his actions. 

"This wasn't just spray paint on somebody's door," she said.

On Jan. 15, 2020, Lincoln police were called to the South Street Temple, 2061 S. 20th St., after members discovered swastikas painted on the front steps and wooden front door of the synagogue, along with slurs.

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Parapart said a door had to be replaced at a cost of $2,333.

She said the temple had video of the vandalism, which occurred two days earlier. It led to Miller's arrest about a month later.

At sentencing, Jacobsen said whether Miller wants to blame himself or somebody else, there's nothing to excuse or justify the offense; and it's not something our society can tolerate.

"Nobody in this community should not feel safe when they go to a house of worship," the judge said.

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Public safety reporter

Lori Pilger is a Norfolk native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been a public safety reporter for the Journal Star since 2005.

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