Nashville man pleads guilty to civil rights violations to spate of arson attacks in church | USAO-MDTN


NASHVILLE – A man in Nashville, Tennessee pleaded guilty today to civil rights violations to a series of arson attacks on churches, the Justice Department said.

Alan Douglas Fox, 28, pleaded guilty to all counts of setting fire to Crievewood United Methodist Church on June 17, 2019; Crievewood Baptist Church on June 25, 2019; the Catholic Church of Saint Ignatius of Antioch on June 25, 2019; and Priest Lake Community Baptist Church on June 26, 2019; and with the carrying and use of a firearm in the Crievewood Baptist Church arson. During the plea hearing, Fox admitted to intentionally starting the fires due to the religious character of the four churches.

“The United States attorney’s office will always prosecute those who by their malicious actions infringe our freedom of religion,” said Acting United States Attorney Mary Jane Stewart of the Middle District of Tennessee. “I commend our law enforcement partners and our prosecution team for bringing this individual to justice. “

“The defendant in this case set fire to four Christian churches, causing fear and anguish among church members and their denominations. The freedom to practice any religion we choose, without discrimination or danger, is a fundamental civil right in our nation and a hallmark of our democracy, ”said Deputy Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice . “The Department of Justice will continue to prosecute, to the fullest extent of the law, those who target and harm places of worship due to bigotry and prejudice. “

US District Judge Eli J. Richardson of the Middle District of Tennessee set the sentence for February 11, 2022. According to the plea, Fox faces up to 20 years in prison for each fire and a consecutive five-year sentence for the violation. firearms. .

The FBI, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department and the Nashville Fire Department have investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Beth Myers and Attorney General Kyle Boynton of the Department’s Civil Rights Division are suing him.

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