Guilty plea expected in Mass. black church arson

| June 11, 2010

BOSTON – A person familiar with the investigation says one of the three white men who allegedly torched a predominantly black church in western Massachusetts because they were angry with President Barack Obama’s election has agreed to plead guilty.

Benjamin Haskell is due for a change of plea hearing Tuesday in federal court in Springfield.

The 23-year-old Haskell had pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges. A person informed of the change told The Associated Press that Haskell will plead guilty. The person asked not to be named ahead of the hearing.

Haskell’s attorney and the U.S. Attorney’s Office did not immediately return calls Friday.

The three men are charged in connection with the fire that destroyed the Macedonia Church of God in Christ in Springfield on Nov. 5, 2008, just hours after the presidential election.

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Category: Church Security

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