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Press Release

Tennessee Man Sentenced to Seven Years for Series of Church Arsons

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A Tennessee man was sentenced today for the arson of four Nashville area churches.

Alan Douglas Fox, 29, of Nashville, was sentenced to seven years in federal prison and three years of supervised release. He had previously been charged by criminal information on Aug. 25, 2021, and had previously pleaded guilty to all counts on Oct. 20, 2021.

According to court documents and statements made during the plea and sentencing hearings, Fox intentionally set fire to the Crievewood United Methodist Church on June 17, 2019; the Crievewood Baptist Church on June 25, 2019; the Saint Ignatius of Antioch Catholic Church on June 25, 2019; and the Priest Lake Community Baptist Church on June 26, 2019, all because of their religious character. Fox also carried and used a handgun to break into the Crievewood Baptist Church to facilitate the arson. The fires resulted in significant damage to all four churches.

“This defendant has now been held accountable for his dangerous arson spree that caused damage to a Catholic church, a Methodist church and two Baptist churches, all pillars of the Nashville community,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Attacks on houses of worship are attacks on people of faith that undermine the fundamental right to practice one’s religion free from fear or violence. The Civil Rights Division will continue to vigorously enforce federal laws that protect all houses of worship, regardless of denomination.”

This case was investigated by the FBI, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department and the Nashville Fire Department. It was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Kyle Boynton of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brooke Schiferle.

Updated February 16, 2022

Civil Rights
Hate Crimes
Press Release Number: 22-135