Bond hearing for white suspect in black church fires

National
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OPELOUSAS, La. (AP) — The white suspect in three recent arson fires that destroyed African American churches in Louisiana is scheduled for a bond hearing.

The clerk of court’s office in St. Landry Parish says the hearing for 21-year-old Holden Matthews is scheduled for Monday morning before state District Judge James Doherty.

Matthews, the son of a St. Landry Parish sheriff’s deputy, was arrested Wednesday on three charges of arson of a religious building.

Three black churches were torched in 10 days. Two were in the city of Opelousas. Another was in a nearby town.

Authorities have stopped short of saying there was a racial motive. But Gov. John Bel Edwards called the burnings a reminder of past acts of racial intimidation. And the NAACP said the fires were examples of “domestic terrorism.”

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