SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Three Massachusetts men have been formally indicted in the torching of a predominantly black church hours after the election of President Barack Obama.
The three were arrested Jan. 16 on a charge of conspiracy to violate the rights of the congregation of the Macedonia Church of God in Christ, whose almost-finished new building was nearly destroyed.
A federal grand jury handed up the indictment Tuesday against 22-year-old Benjamin Haskell, 24-year-old Michael Jacques and 21-year-old Thomas Gleason of Springfield.
The men were freed on $100,000 bail under house arrest on Monday. They are scheduled for arraignment on Thursday.
The indictment alleges the men talked about their racial motives before setting the fire.