CHESTERFIELD, Va. (CBSDC/AP) — A minister at a Virginia church faces charges of setting his house and car in Chesterfield County on fire.
Chesterfield County police had investigated the fires as a possible hate crime because a racial slur had been painted on the house. Police believe 41-year-old Olander D. Cuthrell, who is black, painted the slurs on his home before he set it on fire.
Police charged Cuthrell on Tuesday with two felony arson counts following a joint investigation with the FBI.
In a press release, authorities say they treat allegations of hate crimes as “serious matters.”
The fires occurred March 15. One fire was set on the front porch of Cuthrell’s house. The other was set in a car.
Cuthrell is a minister of music at Good Shepherd Baptist Church in Petersburg.
He is being held without bond at the Chesterfield County Jail. An April 17 hearing is set in Chesterfield County General District Court.
originally posted April 4, 2013