Alva Review-Courier -

Man faces hate crime charge in Florida church arson attack


March 18, 2021

OCALA, Fla. (AP) — A man accused of setting a Florida church on fire last year is facing a federal hate crime charge, prosecutors announced Thursday.

A federal grand jury in Orlando returned an indictment Wednesday against Steven Shields, 24, of Dunnellon, according to court records. He's charged with using fire to commit a felony and intentionally damaging religious property, a hate crime charge that falls under the Church Arson Prevention Act.

He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the hate crime and a mandatory minimum of 10 years if convicted of the fire charge. He also f...

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