JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A Mississippi grand jury will decide whether to indict a black man who is charged with burning an African-American church that was also spray-painted with “Vote Trump.”
A municipal judge on Thursday reduced Andrew McClinton’s bond from $250,000 to $100,000 and sent the case to a grand jury. The 45-year-old McClinton chose not to appear in court for the preliminary hearing.
Authorities have not released a motive. McClinton was a member of Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church, which burned Nov. 1, a week before the presidential election.
McClinton has been jailed since Dec. 21 on a charge of first-degree arson of a place of worship. He had previously requested a public defender but is now represented by a private attorney, Daniel Morris.
Morris says outside court that McClinton is innocent. Morris says he expects McClinton to be released on bond.