Church Arson Suspect Holden Matthews Denied Bond Charged with Hate Crimes




Church Arson Suspect Holden Matthews Denied Bond Charged with Hate Crimes

Church Arson Suspect Holden Matthews
Image: Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal

Hate crimes charges were added on to the arson charges for twenty-one-year-old arson suspect Holden Matthews. Matthews was arrested April 12, 2019, on charges of burning three historically black churches in Louisiana. State District Judge James Doherty also denied bond for the suspect after concerns were brought up that he might try to fell or set more fires. Louisiana Fire Marshal Butch Browning said “We felt that he was an immediate risk to public safety. In my mind, I felt another fire was imminent.” Browning also brought up additional evidence that he said connected Matthews to the crime, including images on the suspect’s cell phone.

The current charges filed against Holden Matthews now included three charges of arson of a religious building and three charges of violating Louisiana’s hate crime law. Federal officials are also considering filing additional hate crime and arson charges against Matthews.

The words “allegedly” and “suspect” are used prior to conviction in criminal cases because all criminal accusations against a person, from the most obviously true to the most speculative, must be proven in a court of law before they’re presumed to be true. 

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