Man admits threatening to burn black church over George Floyd vigil

John Malcolm Bareswill faces a maximum 10 year jail sentence

Justin Vallejo
New York
Thursday 06 August 2020 18:39

A North Carolina man pleaded guilty to racist comments and threatening to burn down an African American church just days after a vigil was held for George Floyd.

John Malcolm Bareswill, 63, faces a maximum 10 years prison after entering the plea on Wednesday, US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, G Zachary Terwilliger confirmed in a press release.

Mr Bareswill, of Catawba, was arrested after calling the Baptist church in Virginia Beach with “racially derogatory remarks” and threats to set it on fire after one of its leaders took part in the public prayer vigil for Mr Floyd.

He made the call on 7 June, about two weeks after Mr Floyd died while in police custody in Minneapolis on 25 May.

Mr Bareswill accepted the charge of criminal information charging a telephonic threat to use fire to kill, injure, or intimidate any individual, or unlawfully to damage or destroy a building.

He faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison when sentenced on 12 November.

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