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Va. minister gets 2 years for phony hate crime

Friday - 11/1/2013, 6:50am  ET

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A black minister in Chesterfield County has been sentenced to two years in prison for setting fire to his front porch and car and claiming it was a hate crime.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch says (http://bit.ly/1f7KTuY) 41-year-old Olander D. Cuthrell told a judge Thursday that he was ashamed about the March incident, which he said was prompted by financial problems.

The minister of music at Gospel Shepherd Baptist Church spray-painted a racial slur on two sides of the rental home to bolster his claim of being the target of a racially motivated attack. He also ignited a bottle filled with oil and gas inside his family's broken-down car.

His son discovered the porch fire after the family dog woke him.

Cuthrell pleaded guilty to felony and misdemeanor arson charges in July.

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Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.timesdispatch.com


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