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Trial Starts in Alleged Obama-Inspired Church Fire

This Oct. 20, 2009 photograph shows Michael Jacques during a hearing on arson-related charges in Hampden Superior Court in Springfield, Mass. A trial begins Monday, March 21, 2011 in federal court in Springfield, where Jacques is charged with burning down the predominantly black Macedonia Church of God in Christ church in November 2008, just hours after Obama was elected the nation's first black president.

This Oct. 20, 2009 photograph shows Michael Jacques during a hearing on arson-related charges in Hampden Superior Court in Springfield, Mass. A trial begins Monday, March 21, 2011 in federal court in Springfield, where Jacques is charged with burning down the predominantly black Macedonia Church of God in Christ church in November 2008, just hours after Obama was elected the nation's first black president.  (AP Photo/The Republican)

A federal court jury in Massachusetts will be hearing opening arguments in the trial of a man charged with burning down a predominantly black church in Springfield because he was upset that Barack Obama was elected president.

Opening arguments are set for Monday in the trial of Michael Jacques at U.S. District Court in Springfield.

Jacques was among three white men charged with burning down the Macedonia Church of God in Christ just hours after Obama was elected in November 2008. The under-construction church was destroyed, but a new building is nearing completion.

The other defendants pleaded guilty. Jacques could face up to 60 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy against civil rights, damage to religious property and other charges. His lawyer says he's innocent.