(NBC News) A suspect has been arrested on charges of arson after three historically black churches were burned over the course of a week in St. Laundry Parish, Louisiana.
Holden Matthews, 21, has been charged with three counts of simple arson.
He could face more charges if investigators determine the fires were a “bias-related event” or hate crime.
State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning says that Matthews, who was taken into custody late Wednesday without incident, has a possible connection with “black metal” music and “its associated history with church burnings in other parts of the world.”
Matthews is the son of a St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s deputy.
Sheriff Bobby Guidroz says his deputy new nothing of his son’s activities.
“Great deputy,” Guidroz said. “He knew nothing about his son’s activity. When i had to call him in, he broke down. It was tough.”