Sheriff’s Son Charged with Setting Fire to 3 Black Churches

Sheriff’s Son Charged and arrested Wednesday and charged with setting fire to 3 historically black churches in Louisiana. Holden, 21, is the son of local sheriff Bobby Guidroz.

According to KATC, Guidroz denied turning in his own son.

The arsons began on March 26 when the St. Mary Baptist Church burned to the ground in Port Barre. Then another church went up in flames in Opelousas on April 2.

The Mount Pleasant Baptist Church was hit by an arsonist on April 4. All three churches were historically black churches.

Local residents called the arsons the work of a racist.

Social media users shared headlines of the arsons online. But Black church leaders were hesitant to bring race into it.

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“I don’t know who’s doing it or why there’re doing it, but I don’t want to the one to inject race into it,” Rev. Harry Richard of Greater Union Baptist Church said last week.

“Until we find out exactly what’s going on, I pray the community doesn’t panic. All the assumptions are flowing and creating an atmosphere of fear.”

Investigators don’t believe a 4th church fire in Caddo Parish is linked to the others, KATC reports.

Louisiana Fire Marshal Butch Browning said Holden had neo-Nazi ties with a group that has a history of church burnings in Norway in the 1990s.

Holden is charged with three counts of simple arson on a religious building. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. He is being held without bond while awaiting a hearing on May 2.

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