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Mississippi man pleads guilty in ‘Vote Trump’ church arson

March 29, 2019

GREENVILLE, Miss. (AP) — A member of a black church in Mississippi has pleaded guilty to burning the church, which was also spray painted with “Vote Trump,” a week before the 2016 presidential election.

The Delta Democrat-Times reported Thursday that 47-year-old Andrew McClinton pleaded guilty to arson. His sentencing is set for late April.

Investigators said McClinton, who is African-American, belonged to the church that was vandalized and burned, Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville.

The Mississippi River port city is hub of commerce in the cotton-growing Delta. About 78 percent of the city’s 32,100 residents are African-American.

The newspaper reported that McClinton will be sentenced as a habitual offender because he was convicted of attempted armed robbery in 1997 and armed robbery in 2004, both in another part of Mississippi.