Tennessee authorities have had John Carothers in custody for months. He was charged with murder for burning a black man alive, but investigators were having trouble coming up with a motive.
According to News Channel 5, deputies intercepted a letter from Carothers to a white supremacist group and found a motive, Carothers was a racist.
The disturbing letter reads,
“My brothers in Jesus Christ our savior and Lord,
My name is John Carothers and I believe the bible is about white people and for white people. I am in the Rutherford County Jail for burning a black man. I set him on fire with lighter fluid poured on his head.”
53-year-old Carothers was arrested on March 17 for the murder of Robert Miller, a black man who lived with Carothers in a home for veterans. The Murfreesboro Post reports that authorities found Miller with a backpack containing Zippo lighter fluid, believed to be the accelerant that was poured on Miller. An autopsy showed that Mr. Miller died from burn-related injuries.
Tennessee doesn’t have a specific hate crime law but District Attorney Jennings Jones told News Channel 5, “”The motive does matter.” Jones said he could pursue a hate crime enhancement if Carothers is found guilty at trial which would bring harsher sentencing.
According to the Daily Post Journal, this isn’t the first time Carothers has been charged with murder. In 1999,he was convicted of second-degree murder and was charged with another murder in 2011, but pleaded guilty to lesser charges.
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