Holden Matthews, 22, pleaded guilty today in the Western District of Louisiana to intentionally setting fire to three Baptist churches because of the religious character of those buildings. Specifically, Matthews pleaded guilty to three counts of violating the Church Arson Prevention Act, 18 U.S.C. § 247(a)(1) — one count for each church — as well as one count of using fire to commit a federal felony, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 844(h). The fires, which Matthews set over a 10-day period in March and April of 2019, completely destroyed each of the church buildings.
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