UPDATE: Church burning suspect faces three hate crime charges, denied bond

Crime
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ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. (KTAL) – (4/15/19) The 21-year-old man accused of burning down three churches in St. Landry Parish was denied bond this morning.

Holden Matthews now faces three additional hate crime charges, District Attorney Earl Taylor said.

Matthews is also charged with two counts of simple arson of a religious building and one count of aggravated arson.

The suspect appeared in court via Skype this morning. He is being held in the Catahoula Correctional Center in Harrisonburg. 

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(4/15/19) 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 African American 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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