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Wed Jun 12, 2019, 05:10 PM

Federal hate crime charges filed against Louisiana church burning suspect

Source: CBS News

The U.S. Justice Department says it's filing federal hate crime charges against a Louisiana man in connection with three fires that destroyed African American churches earlier this year. A news release from the department said 21-year-old Holden Matthews, the son of a sheriff's deputy, faces three counts of "intentional damage to religious property," which are hate crime charges. He's also charged with three counts of "using fire to commit a felony."

The June 6 federal indictment, unsealed Wednesday, says the fires were set "because of the religious character" of the properties. The three historic African American churches were burned in a span of 10 days, beginning in late March, in and around the city of Opelousas.

"Churches are vital places of worship and fellowship for our citizens and bind us together as a community. Our freedom to safely congregate in these churches and exercise our religious beliefs must be jealously guarded," U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph said in a statement. "Today we are one step closer to justice for the parishioners of these churches and the St. Landry Parish communities affected by these acts."

Matthews already faced state charges in the church burnings, which also include hate crimes, indicating authorities believe the fires were racially motivated. Matthews, who is white, has pleaded not guilty in the state case.



Read more: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/federal-hate-crime-charges-filed-against-louisiana-church-burning-suspect-holden-matthews-2019-06-12/

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Reply Federal hate crime charges filed against Louisiana church burning suspect (Original post)
brooklynite Jun 12 OP
irisblue Jun 12 #1

Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Wed Jun 12, 2019, 05:44 PM

1. Good

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