Texas man sentenced to 37 years for fire bombing church

| December 1, 2011

(Reuters) – A Texas man who prosecutors said wanted to "gain status" with the white supremacist gang The Aryan Brotherhood was sentenced to more than 37 years in prison on Wednesday for fire bombing an African American church in an admitted attempt to murder a parishioner.

Steven Scott Cantrell, 26, a resident of the tiny west Texas town of Crane, pleaded guilty in federal court in Midland, Texas, to charges of damaging religious property, arson, and interfering with housing, all prosecuted with a bias crime enhancement.

"When hatred and bigotry are expressed through acts of violence and destruction, this office will use every resource available to ensure that those responsible are found, prosecuted and punished," said Robert Pitman, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas.

"There is simply no room in a civilized society for the kind of conduct Cantrell engaged in," he added.

Cantrell admitted that he set fire to the historic Faith in Christ Church in Crane after he saw an African American man passing by the church in a wheelchair.



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Category: Church Security

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