Thursday, March 09, 2006
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (CNN) -- Three Birmingham college students were arrested and charged Wednesday in connection with a string of Alabama church fires that is described in court papers as a joke that "got out of hand," authorities said.
The students -- Ben Moseley and Russell DeBusk, both 19, and Matthew Lee Cloyd, 20 -- are suspected in nine of the 10 fires last month.
The suspects were held on federal charges of conspiracy and setting fire to Ashby Baptist Church in Bibb County. In court filings, all three admitted being involved in the arson fires. No one was injured in any of the blazes.
U.S. Attorney Alice Martin said further charges are possible and that, if convicted, the students would face minimum sentences of five years for each count.
Authorities will seek indictments from a federal grand jury "in due course," she said.
"It's a good day when we can tell the people of Alabama that we believe this is an isolated instance," Alabama Gov. Bob Riley said.
All nine fires occurred in rural counties southwest of Birmingham -- five in Bibb County on February 3, and four in Greene, Sumter and Pickens counties on February 7.
I don't want to make this into a race thing, because these idiots did take the time to burn down some predominantly white churches as well as Black ones. But I find it interesting that a lot of high-profile and high-traffic conservative bloggers who continue to condemn the Islamic cartoon jihad attacks have done little to no reporting on this story. Considering the underlying religious implications here as well as the racist history of Birmingham, one is only left to guess why this story hasn't gotten more attention in the conservative blogosphere.
Posted by Mr. Grey Ghost at 2:17 PM