JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A Mississippi man charged in the burning of an African-American church that was spray-painted with the words “Vote Trump” is requesting a public defender to represent him in court.
Andrew McClinton of Leland made an initial appearance Thursday in Greenville Municipal Court, a day after being charged with a felony: first-degree arson of a place of worship.
Judge Michael Prewitt set bond at $250,000 for McClinton, who has previously served prison time in Mississippi for armed robbery.
Greenville’s assistant police chief, Michael Merchant, says paperwork was submitted for a public defender. McClinton remained in the Washington County jail.
Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church, which has an all-black congregation, burned Nov. 1, a week before the presidential election. The Hopewell bishop says the 45-year-old McClinton is a member of the church.