Anton Redding, the man who vandalized the Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills last December, pleaded no contest to a felony count of vandalism of religious property on Nov. 19. Redding was ordered to pay $166,000 in restitution and to serve 220 days in County jail. With credit for time served, he will not serve any additional time. The 25-year-old Pennsylvania native, who has a history of substance misuse, must also complete a 12-month residential treatment program and serve five years probation as a part of his plea deal. Redding was initially charged with vandalism of a religious property and commercial burglary, with a penalty enhancement for a hate crime. As a part of his plea deal, prosecutors dropped the burglary and hate crimes charges.
“The District Attorney’s Office has been aware of the extraordinary impact that this offense had on Nessah Synagogue and its congregation, and on the community at large, since its commission,” Head Deputy D.A. Steven Katz told the Courier. “The District Attorney’s Office is grateful to have had the opportunity to work closely with the Beverly Hills Police Department and with representatives of Nessah Synagogue in the prosecution and settlement of this case. We are very satisfied by the terms on which we were able to resolve the matter and hopeful that Mr. Redding will continue to benefit from the rehabilitative services he is receiving in residential treatment.”
In December of 2019, congregants of the Iranian Jewish temple found their house of worship in disarray–trash cans upended, chairs and furniture toppled over, prayer rugs and yarmulkes scattered about, and Torah scrolls thrown onto the ground. Two hearts appeared on the wall, drawn in the chalky white residue of a fire extinguisher. Law enforcement immediately jumped into action, and following a five-day interstate manhunt, officers with the Beverly Hills Police Department (BHPD) located Redding in Kona, Hawaii.
In a statement to the Courier, Redding’s attorney Alan Eisner, said, “We understand that this incident caused considerable concern to the community and for this Mr. Redding is profoundly sorry and remorseful. Mr. Redding wants to express that he has never in the past, nor during this incident, bore any ill will to The Nessah Synagogue, its members, or the wider Jewish community.”
Representatives from Nessah Synagogue were “fully supportive of the negotiated plea,” according to a spokesperson for the District Attorney’s office. A representative from Nessah attended the Nov. 19 plea hearing to accept a $33,000 check for partial restitution and to read a victim-impact statement to the court.