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.


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