(CHRISTIAN POST) – A federal grand jury has filed hate crimes charges against a Louisiana man who allegedly burned three historical African-American churches in an arson spree.
Holden James Matthews, 21, was charged with six counts in an indictment announced by the U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday.
According to the indictment, Matthews set the church buildings on fire because of their religious nature. Three of the counts involve intentional damage to religious property, classified as a hate crime under the Church Arson Prevention Act.
Matthews was also indicted on three counts of using fire to commit a felony. If found guilty, Matthews can face as much as 20 years imprisonment per count of intentional damage to religious property, as well as at least 10 years for the first count of using fire to commit a felony.