SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Two white men charged with torching a predominantly black Massachusetts church in response to President Barack Obama's election have been indicted in an earlier fire.
Twenty-two-year-old Benjamin Haskell and 24-year-old Michael Jacques are charged with burning a home in Springfield on Christmas Eve in 2003. The two men and 21-year-old Thomas Gleason Jr. have pleaded not guilty to federal charges they burned the Macedonia Church of God in Christ in Springfield on Nov. 5 last year.
Federal prosecutors say the men, all of whom live in Springfield, set the church on fire because they were angry about Barack Obama becoming the first black president.
No arraignment date has been set for the state charges. The men's lawyers did not immediately return messages seeking comment Sunday.