A Maine man accused of setting fire to a Massachusetts church with a predominantly Black congregation been charged with hate crime offenses, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
Dushko Vulchev is charged in federal court with four counts of damage to religious property involving fire and one count of use of fire to commit a federal felony stemming from the Dec. 28, 2020 blaze at the Martin Luther King Jr. Presbyterian Church in Springfield.
Investigators found messages on his electronic devices revealing Vulchev's hatred of Black people, prosecutors said.
The 44-year-old Houlton, Maine man had already been charged in state court for a series of earlier smaller fires at the church. He pleaded not guilty in January to six charges, including attempted arson, and remains in state custody. His lawyer in that case called it a case of mistaken identity.
A lawyer representing Vulchev in the federal case said Thursday he couldn't comment.
Vulchev, a naturalized citizen from Bulgaria, was charged in 2016 with kidnapping and domestic assault in Maine, where he allegedly held a woman captive. The kidnapping charge was dismissed but he was sentenced to 258 days in jail for assault and other charges. He also pleaded guilty in federal court to threatening Bulgarian officials.
© 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Follow breaking news like this and more in our new platform, CHARISMA PLUS.
To contact us or to submit an article, click here.
Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.
Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!
- Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
- Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
- God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
- Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
- HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!
Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details