Mass. man gets 14 years for Obama-inspired fire

December 22, 2011 - 3:45 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A white Massachusetts man convicted of burning down a predominantly black church because he was angry about President Barack Obama's election has been sentenced to nearly 14 years in prison.

Michael Jacques (jayks) was convicted in April of various charges in connection with the fire, including conspiracy against civil rights. He was sentenced Thursday to 166 months in prison.

A federal judge also ordered Jacques to pay nearly $1.6 million in restitution to the church and its insurance company.

Prosecutors say Jacques and two friends burned down the Macedonia Church of God in Christ in Springfield the night of Obama's 2008 election in an act of racism. Jacques has said he was at his parents' house that night.

The two other men have pleaded guilty in connection with the fire.