Mass. jurors weigh Obama-related church fire case

AP News
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Posted: Apr 12, 2011 2:35 PM
Mass. jurors weigh Obama-related church fire case

Jurors have ended their first day of deliberations in the case of a white man charged with burning a predominantly black Massachusetts church in the hours after President Barack Obama's 2008 election.

Michael Jacques (JAKES) and two friends were charged with setting fire to the Macedonia Church of God in Christ in Springfield.

The other men pleaded guilty and implicated Jacques. He faces up to 60 years in prison if convicted of charges including conspiracy and damage to religious property.

Jurors didn't reach a verdict Tuesday. They'll resume deliberations Wednesday.

Jacques' attorney said his client didn't set the fire and that incriminating statements he made were just bragging about something he didn't do.

Prosecutors said Jacques told friends Obama's election meant blacks and Puerto Ricans were taking over the country.