Church arsonist pleads guilty in Springfield case

Church arsonist pleads guilty in Springfield case

By Associated Press  |   Wednesday, November 17, 2010  |  http://www.bostonherald.com  |  Local Coverage

SPRINGFIELD – A Springfield man serving a federal prison sentence for burning down a mostly-black church to protest the election of President Barack Obama has been sentenced to six years in a case brought by state prosecutors.

The sentence is concurrent with the nine-year federal term Benjamin Haskell received for arson in the fire that destroyed the Macedonia Church of God in Christ hours after Obama’s 2008 election. That means the 25-year-old Haskell won’t have to serve additional time.

He pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a 10-count state indictment that included drug distribution charges and a charge that he set fire to a vacant house back in 2003.

Superior Court Judge Cornelius Moriarty nearly rejected the plea bargain with prosecutors as too leniant, calling Haskell a “one-man crime wave.”

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?articleid=1297018

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