Matthews 90 590,246 to St. Mary the Baptist Church, 70 970,213.30 to Greater Union and 1 1.1 million to Mt. Sweet, a DOJ report said Monday. He will receive three years of supervised release.
CNN approached Matthews’ lawyer.
The fire destroyed all three churches in Laundry Parish.
“These churches date back to the post-Civil War Reconstruction period and have been a place for many African American Christians to gather, pray, worship and celebrate their faith,” said Eric Trebond, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division. “Churches have survived for nearly 150 years, but have not escaped the abomination of this defendant.”
After the last fire, Matthews admitted that he took photos and videos with his cellphone and posted them on Facebook “in an attempt to promote himself in the black metal community.”
Matthews was arrested on April 11, 2019.
“Members of St. Mary’s Baptist Church, Greater Union Baptist Church and Mount Pleasant Baptist Church were the ones who suffered the most from these horrific crimes and lost not only body buildings but also emotional objects that could not be changed,” said Alexander C., an American lawyer from the western Louisiana district. Said Van Hook.
Matthews pleaded guilty to three counts of violating the Church Arson Prevention Act – one for each church – and one for using a fire to commit a federal crime, the DOJ said.