A man who burned down his own church to make an anti-Trump point has been convicted of 10 years in prison. The Daily Wire reports:
A Mississippi man who burned down his own church just before the 2016 election has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Andrew McClinton, 47, pleaded guilty to arson in late March, The Daily Wire previously reported. On Thursday, Circuit Judge Margaret Carey-McCray sentenced McClinton to 10 years in prison as well as a 10-year suspended sentence to follow, part of which would be served under state supervision. Washington County District Attorney Dewayne Richardson told the Associated Press that McClinton’s sentence was based in part on his status as a habitual offender due to previous felony convictions. In 1997, McClinton was convicted of attempted armed robbery. In 2004, he was convicted of armed robbery.
McClinton had set fire to Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi just a week before the 2016 election. Hopewell had a predominantly African-American congregation. The words “Vote Trump” were painted on the side of the building when it burned, leading those looking to paint then-candidate Donald Trump as someone who inspires racists to claim it was a hate crime.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) included the arson on its list of hate crimes allegedly inspired by Trump before and after the election. The arson was included before any investigation had been conducted and was used to slam Trump.
This is yet another reason why the SPLC has lost all credibility in the eyes of the public. Not only did McClinton deprive his parishioners of their church and community, but also attempted to blame a whole segment of the American public to stoke hate in the country. This is wrong for so many reasons, and justice has finally been served.