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Black Man Who Set Church Fire Sentenced to Five Years

October 8, 1996

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ A black man got a five-year prison term for setting a fire that gutted a predominantly black church.

Antoine Jamar Dean, 21, apologized in court Monday for setting the June 20 fire at Immanuel Christian Fellowship.

An inmate who had served time with Dean offered him $10,000 to burn the church, the Oregonian reported. The inmate planned to double-cross Dean and collect reward money or use the information as leverage for a prison transfer, the newspaper said.

Dean, who was arrested after police got a tip, said Monday that the inmate offered money, but he did not say whether he received any.

Dean is already serving time for a parole violation. His federal prison term will begin in December.

The arson attracted national attention because it happened during a series of fires at churches nationwide.

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