Federal hate crime charges filed in black church fires

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department says hate crime charges have been filed against a Louisiana man in connection with three fires that destroyed African American churches earlier this year.

A news release from the department says 21-year-old Holden Matthews 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 indictment says the fires were set “because of the religious character” of the properties.

Matthews has pleaded not guilty to related state charges. His attorney declined comment on the federal charges.

Three historic African American churches were burned over 10 days, beginning in late March, in and around the city of Opelousas.

The June 6 federal indictment was unsealed Wednesday.

Associated Press

Associated Press

More News

STORMTRACKER 18 WEATHER
Eau Claire
67°
Menomonie
64°
Chetek
68°
Durand
66°
Ladysmith
Neillsville
67°
Rice Lake
68°
New Richmond
67°
Black River Falls
65°
Medford
64°
River Falls
68°
Duluth
Green Bay
71°
La Crosse
69°
Madison
70°
Milwaukee
75°
Twin Cities
70°
Connect with WQOW
Top Stories
Scroll to top
Skip to content