Members of Concord Fortress of Hope Church in Kansas City, a predominantly African-American church, arrived Sunday morning for worship and were shocked by what they saw. A racist slurs and the letters “KKK” were spray-painted on the building and an office has been set on fire.
An even bigger surprise came later: the man accused of defacing the church is not only Black but also a church employee. His crack addiction appears to be at the root of his confessed crime. Many members are no doubt weighing whether he deserves justice or mercy.
CBS News affiliate KCTV-5 reported that federal prosecutors charged 48-year-old Nathaniel D. Nelson on Monday with arson to cover up his burglary.
As a church custodian, Nelson had access to most areas of the building. The news outlet said Nelson confessed to authorities that he set fire to an office chair and painted the racist graffiti to confuse investigators.
He entered the church on Saturday night to smoke crack. After getting high, he attempted to break into the financial office to steal money so that he could buy more of the drug. Unable to get in, he used his key to enter two other offices where he stole a total of $234.
With that money, Nelson purchased crack and went back to the church where he stole money from a vending machine to make a second purchase of the drug.
While the crack epidemic has receded, an estimated 6.2 million U.S. residents aged 12 and older used crack at least once in their lifetime, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, which also notes that cocaine is far more addictive when smoked.
Happy Presidents' Day! 44 Photos To Make You Miss Obama
1. Barack Gives Daughter Malia a KissSource:Getty 1 of 42
2. Michelle and Barack tell the kids a storySource:Getty 2 of 42
3. Michelle and Barack KissSource:Getty 3 of 42
4. Michelle and BarackSource:Getty 4 of 42
5. First Family PortraitSource:Getty 5 of 42
6. Two TermsSource:Getty 6 of 42
7. Michelle and Barack host a State DinnerSource:Getty 7 of 42
8. Barack Obama and Michelle ObamaSource:Getty 8 of 42
9. The Obamas on Air Force OneSource:Getty 9 of 42
10. The First Family in LondonSource:Getty 10 of 42
11. First Lady Michelle Obama with daughters Malia Obama and Sasha ObamaSource:Getty 11 of 42
12. Sasha and Malia Obama at the 2016 State DinnerSource:Getty 12 of 42
13. Turkey PardoningSource:Getty 13 of 42
14. Sunday ChurchSource:Getty 14 of 42
15. Gobble, GobbleSource:Getty 15 of 42
16. Malia Obama, the First DaughterSource:Getty 16 of 42
17. Barack Obama and his daughter Malia ObamaSource:Getty 17 of 42
18. A Family AffairSource:Getty 18 of 42
19. Flashback To The Old DaysSource:Pete Souza 19 of 42
20. Happy Birthday!Source:Getty 20 of 42
21. Candidly AwesomeSource:Pete Souza 21 of 42
22. Historic First FamilySource:Getty 22 of 42
23. Ice Cream TreatSource:Getty 23 of 42
24. TV TimeSource:Pete Souza 24 of 42
25. Always Giving BackSource:Getty 25 of 42
26. A Christmas StorySource:Getty 26 of 42
27. Hawaii Trip!Source:Getty 27 of 42
28. Obama Loves Team USA & His WifeSource:Getty 28 of 42
29. Malia and Sasha ObamaSource:Getty 29 of 42
30. Michelle Plays on a BikeSource:Getty 30 of 42
31. Obama Loves Team USA, His Wife & MaliaSource:Getty 31 of 42
32. Reading TimeSource:Pete Souza 32 of 42
33. Family SupportSource:Getty 33 of 42
34. The Sister SelfieSource:Pete Souza 34 of 42
35. Supporting MomSource:Pete Souza 35 of 42
36. Giving Back On MLK DaySource:Getty 36 of 42
37. Obamas Give Back To The CommunitySource:Getty 37 of 42
38. Always Supporting Small BusinessesSource:Getty 38 of 42
39. Obama SwaggerSource:Getty 39 of 42
40. Laughs & TurkeysSource:Getty 40 of 42
41. Christmas With The ObamasSource:Getty 41 of 42
42. 50th Anniversary Of March On SelmaSource:Pete Souza 42 of 42
Crack Addict Confesses To Racist Graffiti, Arson Of Kansas City Church was originally published on newsone.com