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Archive for April 17th, 2019

Prosecutors File Hate Crime Charges Against Man Accused of Torching 3 Black Churches

Holden Matthews

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Prosecutors have filed hate crime charges against the white man suspected of setting fire to three African American churches in Louisiana.

Authorities believe Holden Matthews, the 21-year-old son of a sheriff’s deputy, was motivated by racism when he allegedly used gasoline to burn three historic black church in the St. Landry Parish over 10 days, The Associated Press reports.

On Monday, Matthews pleaded not guilty to the hate crimes and three counts of arson of a religious building. Worried Matthews is a flight risk, state District Judge James Doherty denied bail for Matthews, who had no previous criminal record.

“We felt that he was an immediate risk to public safety,” said Louisiana Fire Marshal Butch Browning. “In my mind, I felt another fire was imminent.”

The ATF helped local authorities in the hunt for the culprit.

Matthews was charged after authorities said his cell phone records placed him at the arsons. Found on the phone were images of the three churches burning, the fire marshal said.

FBI Launches ‘Massive Manhunt’ for Woman ‘Infatuated’ with Columbine School Shooting

FBI released these photos of Sol Pais.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Denver-area public schools were closed Wednesday as the FBI launched a manhunt for a young woman whom authorities described as armed, “extremely dangerous” and “infatuated” with the Columbine school massacre.

Authorities said the 18-year-old woman, Sol Pais, made “credible threats” against Denver-area schools in the days before the 20th anniversary of the April 20, 1999, attack that killed 12 students and one teacher.

The FBI said the woman “made threats to commit an act of violence in the Denver metropolitan area,” the Associated Press reports.

Authorities said the Florida woman bought a pump-action shotgun and ammunition and flew to Colorado on Monday night. She was last seen in Jefferson County near Columbine wearing camouflage pants, a black T-shirt and black boots.

The FBI’s Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force issued a notice Tuesday to police to be on the look out for her and set up a tip line.

“This has become a massive manhunt … and every law enforcement agency is participating and helping in this effort,” Dean Phillips, special agent in charge of the FBI in Denver, said late Tuesday night.