The Latest: Man charged in church arson has criminal record

AP News
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Posted: Dec 21, 2016 6:04 PM
The Latest: Man charged in church arson has criminal record

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Latest on an arrest in a Mississippi church burning (all times local):

5 p.m.

State records show a criminal record for a man charged in the burning of a Mississippi church that was also spray-painted with the words "Vote Trump."

Authorities say 45-year-old Andrew McClinton of Leland, Mississippi, was arrested Wednesday and charged with first degree arson of a place of worship.

Mississippi Department of Corrections records show McClinton served eight years in prison after being convicted of armed robbery in 2004 in Lee County, Mississippi. He was released in January 2012. His time served included days he was jailed before trial.

Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church, which has an African-American congregation, burned and was vandalized Nov. 1, a week before the presidential election.

The bishop of the church, Clarence Green, tells The Associated Press that McClinton is a member of the congregation.

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3:10 p.m.

The bishop of an African-American church Mississippi that was burned and spray-painted with the words "Vote Trump" says the man arrested in the case is a member of the church.

Police in Greenville on Wednesday arrested 45-year-old Andrew McClinton of Leland, Mississippi, and charged him with first degree arson of a place of worship.

Bishop Clarence Green of Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church tells The Associated Press that McClinton is a member of the church.

Green says he did not know about the arrest until AP called him.

The church was burned and vandalized Nov. 1, a week before the presidential election.

It was not immediately clear whether McClinton is represented by an attorney.

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2:37 p.m.

Mississippi authorities have arrested a man in the burning of an African-American church that was also spray-painted with the words, "Vote Trump."

Mississippi Department of Public Safety spokesman Warren Strain says Andrew McClinton of Leland, Mississippi, who is African-American, is charged with first degree arson of a place of worship.

McClinton was arrested Wednesday. Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi, was burned and vandalized Nov. 1, a week before the presidential election.

It was not immediately clear whether McClinton is represented by an attorney.

Greenville is a Mississippi River port city of about 32,100 people, and about 78 percent of its residents are African-American.

After the fire, Hopewell congregants began worshipping in a chapel at predominantly white First Baptist Church of Greenville.