Bond hearing scheduled for suspect accused of burning St. Landry churches

2 months ago WBRZ 0

ST. LANDRY PARISH – The man accused of burning three churches in St. Landry Parish will have a bond hearing Monday, according to KATC.

Officials charged 21-year-old Holden Matthews with three counts of simple arson last week.

According to fire investigators, Matthews is suspected of lighting the blazes that destroyed the 140-year-old Mount Pleasant Baptist Church and two other churches in the St. Landry Parish area. 

Arrest documents say remnants of a red, Scepter-branded gas can were the first major clue investigators found linking Matthews to the fires. After determining Walmart was one of the few sellers of that two-gallon can in the area, detectives eventually found that Matthews purchased one such gas can, a pack of shop towels and a lighter hours before the fire at St. Mary Baptist.

State Fire Marshal Butch Browning said Matthews’ motive in the fires is still unclear, but information uncovered by investigators and offered by Matthews suggests a connection to “black metal” music. Black metal music is a genre of music that is anti-Christian and satanic. It was linked to church burnings in Norway in the early 90’s.