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Church arsonist pleads guilty in Mass. case

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — A Massachusetts man serving a federal prison sentence for burning down a predominantly black church hours after Barack Obama was elected president has been sentenced to six years in a case brought by state prosecutors.

The sentence is concurrent with the nine-year federal term Benjamin Haskell received for arson in the fire that destroyed the Macedonia Church of God in Christ hours after Obama's 2008 election. That means the 25-year-old Springfield man won't have to serve additional time.

He pleaded guilty Tuesday to a 10-count state indictment that included drug distribution charges and a charge that he set fire to a vacant house back in 2003.

Superior Court Judge Cornelius Moriarty nearly rejected the plea bargain with prosecutors as too leniant, calling Haskell a "one-man crime wave."

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Information from: The Springfield Republican, http://www.masslive.com/news/

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