NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Nashville man has pleaded guilty to intentionally setting multiple churches on fire.
At a plea hearing, 28-year-old Alan Douglas Fox pleaded guilty to the fires and carrying and using a firearm during one incident.
According to investigators, between June 17, 2019 and June 26, 2019, Fox set fire to Crievewood United Methodist Church, the Crievewood Baptist Church, the Saint Ignatius of Antioch Catholic Church, and the Priest Lake Community Baptist Church.
Fox admitted at the plea hearing that he set the fires because of the religious nature of the four churches.
"The defendant in this case set fire to four Christian churches, causing fear and anguish to church members and their denominations. The freedom to practice the religion we choose, without discrimination or danger, is a fundamental civil right in our nation and a hallmark of our democracy," said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. "The Justice Department will continue to prosecute, to the fullest extent of the law, those who target and harm houses of worship because of bigotry and prejudice."
A judge will sentence Fox on Feb 11, 2022. In the terms of his plea deal, Fox faces up to 20 years in prison for each fire and a consecutive five-year sentence for the firearm violation.