Louisiana church arsonist pleads guilty

MGN State Fire Marshal deputies are on the scene of a church fire in Opelousas, Louisiana, on 4/2/2019.

Holden Matthews, the son of a sheriff’s deputy, has pled guilty to federal charges over burning down three Black churches in Louisiana last spring.

Matthews, 22, said he committed the arsons to break into the “black metal” music scene. According to court documents, he was attempting to raise his profile in that scene by copying church arson attacks in Norway in the 1990s.

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“Holden’s actions were motivated by the fact that these were religious properties and in no way were motivated by the racial makeup of the congregations,” his defense lawyer, Dustin Talbot, told NPR.

However, this does not explain why, if he had problems with religious properties or churches, he only chose to burn down Black churches, especially considering there are many White churches in the same area.