Holden Matthews indicted by Federal Grand Jury

21 year old Holden Matthews, of Opelousas, was charged by a Federal Grand Jury in an indictment unsealed on Wednesday for setting fire to and destroying 3 St. Landry Parish churches.

The six count indictment states that Matthews intentionally set fire to the churches, over a span of 10 days.

The indictment alleges that he was motivated to set fire to the churches because of the religious character of the properties.

Matthews is charged with 3 counts of intentional damage to religious property, hate crimes that fall under the church arson prevention act and 3 counts of using fire to commit a felony.

If convicted, he faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years per count of intentional damage to religious property, an additional mandatory minimum of 10 years for the first count of using fire to commit a felony and 20 years for the subsequent counts, which will all run consecutively.

He also faces 3 years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine and restitution for each of the counts.

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