AP NEWS

The Latest: Monday bond hearing for suspect in church fires

April 12, 2019
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This booking image released by the Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal shows Holden Matthews, 21, who was arrested Thursday, April 11, 2019, in connection with suspicious fires at three historic black churches in southern Louisiana. Matthews faces three counts of simple arson of a religious building on the state charges. Federal investigators also were looking into whether hate motivated the fires. (Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal via AP)

OPELOUSAS, La. (AP) — The Latest on the arrest of a suspect in recent arson fires at black churches in Louisiana (all times local):

3 p.m.

A bond hearing has been set for the suspect in three recent arson fires at African American churches in Louisiana.

The clerk of court’s office in St. Landry Parish says the bond hearing for 21-year-old Holden Matthews is set for 9 a.m. Monday before Judge James Doherty.

Matthews is the son of a St. Landry sheriff’s deputy. He was arrested Wednesday on charges of arson of a religious building. Authorities suspect him of torching three black churches in 10 days. His attorney did not return a call for comment Friday.

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6 a.m.

No known criminal record. No known history of violence. One friend called him an introverted animal lover. Another said he was a “very sweet guy” with a racially diverse group of friends.

But 21-year-old Holden Matthews is now the lone suspect in the torching of three African American churches in and around Opelousas, Louisiana.

The arrest of the son of a local sheriff’s deputy shocked two friends who spoke to The Associated Press.

Meanwhile, pastors of the churches expressed relief that the mystery had apparently been solved.

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McGill reported from New Orleans and Opelousas. Associated Press writers Stacey Plaisance in Opelousas, and Michael Kunzelman in College Park, Maryland, contributed to this report.

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press.All rights reserved.
1 of 2
This booking image released by the Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal shows Holden Matthews, 21, who was arrested Thursday, April 11, 2019, in connection with suspicious fires at three historic black churches in southern Louisiana. Matthews faces three counts of simple arson of a religious building on the state charges. Federal investigators also were looking into whether hate motivated the fires. (Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal via AP)