A man who spray painted messages of hate on a Virginia church and synagogue, including on the first night of Passover, was sentenced Friday to nearly two years in prison.
Dylan M. Mahone of Annandale, Virginia, was ordered to spend 21 months in prison and pay restitution of nearly $7,000 for damage.
Mahone, then 20, was unrepentant when he was arrested for the crimes he committed in March and April 2017. After leaving swastikas, anti-LGBT messages and anti-Muslim messages at a community college, church and synagogue, he said he would do it all again.
Things would be much easier "if Hitler wasn't right," police say Mahone said. When asked if he had any message for the victims, he replied, "Heil Hitler. No regrets."
Mahone's attorney asked for counseling for his client, and no jail time.
The crimes badly rattled two faith communities.
Rev. David Lindsey at Little River United Church of Christ said some members didn't return after the vandalism.
"We do have some folks that just aren't around anymore. We have some folks that took breaks for six, seven months, out of fear for their children's safety," he said.
Judge Jan Brodie spoke sharply to Mahone on Friday.
"I still don't hear an apology from you to the people you have harmed," she said.
"I can rehabilitate people on drugs. I don't know that I can rehabilitate people who hate," the judge continued. "That requires a change of heart. That's something you have to work through yourself."
In addition to the prison sentence, Mahone faces nearly two decades of suspended prison time that could be imposed if he is released and commits similar crimes.
Anti-Semitic graffiti was spray-painted at the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCCNV) overnight on the first night of Passover. A nearby church was targeted with hateful vandalism the same night.
"Within 48 hours with the help of our community we arrested the offender in this horrific hate crime event,” Fairfax County Police Chief Ed Roessler said.
Police arrested Mahone at his Annandale home. He also posted anti-Semitic flyers at Northern Virginia Community College in March, gluing the flyers to tables and chairs. He was a student at the school.
All of the incidents occurred within about a mile of Mahone's home.
Among the hateful messages at the JCCNV on Little River Turnpike, "Hitler was right" was spray painted across an entrance. A swastika and an "SS" symbol were spray painted onto exterior walls.
The nearby Little River United Church of Christ also was vandalized, with swastikas, anti-LGBTQ messages and anti-Muslim signs. "Defend America; No Muslims," was written across the front door.
Police identified Mahone as a suspect through surveillance video and a Twitter account called Aryan Underground on which photos of the flyers at the community college were posted.
Mahone's phone number was linked to the Twitter handle.
Among the items police found in his home were spray paint and clothing seen in the surveillance video. The video shows Mahone acted alone, police said.
He was charged in Fairfax County with two counts each of felony destruction of property, placing a swastika on religious property with the intent to intimidate and wearing a mask in public to conceal his identity.
Northern Virginia Community College Police charged him with felony destruction of property and wearing a mask to conceal his identity.
Members of the community rallied to clean up the graffiti.
"Neighbors have literally rolled up their sleeves to clean windows for faith communities that are not even their own," Lindsey, the pastor, said.