KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Federal prosecutors say a church maintenance worker set a fire and spray-painted racist graffiti on a predominantly black Kansas City church in order to cover up a theft.
Nathaniel Nelson was charged Monday with arson. He was a member and employee of the Concord Fortress of Hope church and its cultural center, where the arson and graffiti were discovered early Sunday.
Sprinklers extinguished a fire intentionally set in an office. Graffiti on the church included a racial slur, “KKK” and a symbol similar to a swastika.
According to an affidavit, Nelson told investigators he was at the church to smoke crack cocaine and he tried to steal money. He reportedly told investigators he spray-painted the graffiti to throw off investigators.
It wasn’t immediately clear if Nelson had an attorney.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.