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Mass. Man Denies Role in Church Arson

c. 2011 Religion News Service
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (RNS) A defendant accused in a racially motivated arson on Thursday (Feb. 3) took the witness stand and told a federal judge he had no role in the 2008 blaze that razed a predominantly black church hours after President Obama was elected.
Michael F. Jacques Jr., 26, one of three defendants accused of setting the fire at Macedonia Church of God in Christ, testified in a pretrial hearing, arguing that investigators bullied him into a false confession while he was in the throes of Percocet withdrawal in a cramped interrogation room.
“I felt a horrible need for more … a little sick, and my nose was running,” Jacques told U.S. District Court Judge Michael A. Ponsor.
Jacques is one of three defendants charged in the case.
Benjamin Haskell, 24, has already pleaded guilty in the case and is serving a nine-year sentence at a federal prison in West Virginia.
Thomas A. Gleason, 23, also pleaded guilty and has agreed to testify against Jacques at trial, scheduled to begin on March 7. Gleason is out on bail pending his sentencing in April.
All the men admitted to bias against minorities, with witnesses telling investigators the trio said they burned the church to denounce Obama’s election.
(Stephanie Barry writes for The Republican in Springfield, Mass.)

  • cknuck

    They will probably be heroes in jail with the white supremacy gang and intensify their racial hate and get a education on how not to get caught the next time.

  • Leticia Quinonez

    What I feel is that when such wicked souls like that who commits such a blasphemous crime should be subject to death only with no more rights to live. The courts should order the death sentence for all 3 of them and anyone else who was involved in such a vicious crime like that. They shouldnn’t be allowed to live anymore at all. That is my true belief on this matter that they should not be allowed to live anymore. I think that they deserve the death penalty for that evil crime. Anyone who even did these things back years ago should also be put to death right away by the court orders. Suppose if the pastor of Macedonia COGIC was having a revival there and people were getting saved and those 3 snakes burn the church down at the same time service was going on and all the real saints were burned at the time service was going on? If I were a judge at a court I would order all 3 of those snakes the death penalty. That they should be put to death right away after they are proven guilty fast. I would even tell other fail mates not to communicate with them at all and that each of the 3 criminals are to be placed in private sells far away from everyone else and that each one be in a sell alone not with each other at all. The 3 should not be allowed to eat and drink anything at all period. They should go without food and drink for 7 days and then put to death right away. If I were judge I would order this for these 3 criminals and would not change the order or go back on my word at all. This is how I would do racial bigotry criminals who commit such crimes.

  • Leticia Quinonez

    My heart goes out the the pastor and his wife and all the members there but as for the 3 racial bigotry anti black church haters who commit such crimes like that I sure would be there to support the pastor and his wife to testify against the 3 that has burned down their church over obama winning the election, I would say to the pastor and wife of the suffering loss of his church that they should order the death role until the 3 racists are dead and that they should be given very harsh criminal treatment until the day they much all die. That was very wrong for such wicked racists to burn down a church that in the beginning the church was based on the whole Word of God the whole Bible addding and changing nothing in the Bible at all. Knowing for years and decades that these racists has caused nothing but grief in the black communities for more than 200 years since blacks were on this planet. If I were judge of the courts down there I would have all 3 of them on death role and within 7 days from the crimes committed by them they will be executed right away. No matter what their parents say and do and all their kinfolks say and do and if anyone or their close frineds were to harrass the church members children over the deaths of the 3 criminals shall be locked into prison for at least 5 years. And all the rights to such ones who harrass the children from the church that was destroyed by these 3 racists should be turned down employment and housing everywhere and that they were appraising the plots against the church. No further discussions on this matter.

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