Man who allegedly set fire to 3 black churches faces hate crime charges

Federal prosecutors said it was a hatred for religion that moved Holden Matthews, 21, the son of a local sheriff's deputy, to allegedly commit arson in Louisiana.
1:13 | 06/13/19

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Transcript for Man who allegedly set fire to 3 black churches faces hate crime charges
Next tonight, there are new federal hate crime charges in a string of arson fires that destroyed African-American churches in Louisiana. The son of a sheriff's deputy, holden Matthews, is now facing those charges, and here now ABC's Steve osunsami tonight. Reporter: Federal prosecutors tonight are saying it was his hatred for religion that moved this 21-year-old son of a local sheriff's deputy to burn down three black churches in St. Landry Parrish, Louisiana. Holden Matthews is now facing both state and tonight federal hate crime charges for the church burnings on March 26th, April 2nd and April 4th. All stations, we have a church on fire. Reporter: The clue that led investigators to the deputy's son was a red gas can found at the third fire on April 4th, here at mt. Pleasant Baptist church. Authorities traced that can to a local Walmart and see that receipts and surveillance video show Matthews buying the tools he needed to start the fires. They say surveillance video shows him driving his father's gold pickup truck at each location. A go fund me page set up to help the church rebuild has now raised more than $2 million. Matthews is pleading not guilty to the state charges. If convicted of the federal ones, he could be sentenced to more than 100 years in prison.

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