Louisiana Man Pleads Guilty To Setting Fires At Black Churches

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Louisiana Man Pleads Guilty To Setting Fires At Black Churches
Holden Matthews pleaded guilty to three counts of intentional damage to religious property and one count of using fire to commit a federal felony
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A Louisiana man admitted in court he intentionally set fire to three historically black churches last year.

The U.S. Department of Justice said Monday that Holden Matthews pleaded guilty to one count of using fire to commit a federal felony. He also pleaded guilty to three counts of intentional damage to religious property, which is a hate crime under the Church Arson Prevention Act.

According to the DOJ, Matthews said he set the fires over a span of 10 days in March and April 2019 "in an effort to raise his profile as a 'Black Metal' musician."

Matthews faces up to 70 years in prison. His federal sentencing is scheduled for May 22. He'll face a separate sentencing for six charges he's pleaded guilty to at the state level.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.