Skip to main content
Press Release

Federal Grand Jury Returns Indictment Charging Salt Lake City Man With Bias-Motivated Attack On Synagogue

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Utah
Charges Allege He Fired Several Rounds from a Handgun at the Synagogue

            SALT LAKE CITY – A federal grand jury in Salt Lake City returned a four-count indictment Wednesday afternoon charging Macon Michael Openshaw, age 21, of Salt Lake City, with firearm charges and a civil rights violation relating to a bias-motivated attack at a local synagogue.

            The indictment was announced by the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney for Utah David B. Barlow, and Mary Rook, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Salt Lake City.

            The indictment alleges that between Jan. 1, 2012 and April 30, 2012, Openshaw intentionally defaced and damaged the Congregation Kol Ami synagogue in Salt Lake City by firing several rounds from a Walther .22 caliber handgun at the building, breaking windows and damaging the window frame of the building. Openshaw allegedly performed these actions because of the religious character of the synagogue. This charge carries a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment.

            The superseding indictment charges Openshaw with one count of using and carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence (potential 10-year mandatory minimum sentence), possession of a firearm with a removed, obliterated or altered serial number (up to five years) and possession of a firearm while subject to a protective order (up to 10 years.

            An indictment is not a finding of guilt. Individuals charged in indictments are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

            The matter is being investigated by the Salt Lake City Division of the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carlos Esqueda of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah and Trial Attorney Nicholas Durham of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.

(Follow the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Twitter @DUTnews)
Updated March 12, 2015