Trail starts for man charged with buring down church…

March 21 –

A federal court jury in Massachusetts will be hearing opening arguments in the trial of a man charged with burning down a predominantly black church in Springfield because he was upset that Obama was elected president.

Opening arguments are set for Monday in the trial of Michael Jacques at U.S. District Court in Springfield.

Jacques was among three white men charged with burning down the Macedonia Church of God in Christ just hours after Obama was elected in November 2008. The under-construction church was destroyed, but a new building is nearing completion.

The other defendants pleaded guilty. Jacques could face up to 60 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy against civil rights, damage to religious property and other charges. His lawyer says he’s innocent.

Michael Jacques