San Marcos man reaches plea deal for setting fire to Austin Synagogue

San Marcos man reached a plea deal after setting fire to an Austin Synagogue in 2021.

Frank Sechriest pleaded guilty to both arson and a federal hate crime charge. 

On Halloween night in 2021, Sechriest was caught on surveillance video approaching the Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue with incendiary items. Moments later, he was spotted leaving the church after starting a fire. 


Austin firefighters arrived and quickly put out the flames. 

According to investigators, Sechriest even noted the attack in a personal journal, and spoke of monitoring media coverage of his crime.

Sechriest faces a potential, maximun sentence of 20 years in prison. His sentencing hearing is set for June 23.