NC man pleads guilty to threatening to burn African American church in VB


John Malcolm Bareswill

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A North Carolina man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to making a telephone threat to burn down an African American church in Virginia Beach.

63-year-old John Malcolm Bareswill, called a predominantly African American church in Virginia beach and made racially derogatory remarks, and threatened to set the church on fire.

According to court documents, Barewill called the church on June 7, days after one of the church’s leaders took part in a public prayer vigil and peaceful demonstration for George Floyd.

Bareswill pleaded guilty to criminal information charging a telephonic threat to use fire to kill, injure, or intimidate any individual, or unlawfully to damage or destroy a building.

The DOJ says Bareswill faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison when sentenced on Nov. 12.

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