Man sentenced in burning of church painted with ‘Vote Trump’

GREENVILLE, Miss. (AP) — A member of an African American church in Mississippi has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for burning the church, which was also spray painted with “Vote Trump” a week before the 2016 presidential election.

WLBT-TV reports 47-year-old Andrew McClinton was sentenced Thursday in Greenville. Circuit Judge Margaret Carey-McCray also gave him 10 years of supervised release after the 10 in prison. McClinton pleaded guilty to arson on March 28.

Investigators said McClinton belonged to the church that was vandalized and burned, Hopewell Missionary Baptist in Greenville.

Some initially suspected the fire was a hate crime. But Washington County District Attorney Dewayne Richardson says McClinton was trying to hide illicit activities he had done inside the church.

McClinton was sentenced as a habitual offender because of previous felony convictions.

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