Suspect in string of Louisiana church fires charged with hate crimes

OPELOUSAS (AP) – Prosecutors have now added hate crime expenses towards the white suspect in three current arson fires that destroyed African American churches in Louisiana.


Twenty-one-yr-previous Holden Matthews pleaded not responsible at a Monday courtroom hearing. He was ordered to be held without bond.


Three black churches have been torched in 10 days. Two have been within the city of Opelousas. One other was in a close-by town.


Matthews is the son of a St. Landry Parish sheriff’s deputy. He was arrested Wednesday on three expenses of arson of a spiritual building. The three further hate crimes fees – one for each blaze – have been added Monday.


Authorities at Monday’s listening to also outlined a litany of latest evidence that prosecutors say ties Matthews to the crimes.

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