Minister Who Claimed Racial Bias Pleads Guilty to Setting Fire to His Home

Mark Bowes, Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 31, 2013

A black Baptist minister who claimed he was the victim of a hate crime after racist graffiti was painted on his house and his front porch and car were set ablaze pleaded guilty Tuesday to setting fire to his family’s rental home.

In pleading guilty to felony arson of an occupied dwelling, Olander D. Cuthrell, 41, a minister of music at Good Shepherd Baptist Church in Petersburg, admitted he poured a mixture of oil and gasoline across part of his home’s front porch and ignited it about 4:30 a.m. March 15.

Olander Cuthrell

Olander Cuthrell

Cuthrell’s oldest son, who discovered the fire after the family dog woke him, extinguished the flames with water before it spread to the house, which was occupied by Cuthrell and four other family members, Chesterfield County prosecutor Laura Khawaja said in a summary of evidence.

Last month, Cuthrell pleaded guilty to an accompanying charge of misdemeanor arson for igniting a 16-ounce bottle filled with oil and gas inside an inoperable, family-owned 1992 BMW parked outside the house. {snip}

After the fires, Cuthrell suggested in interviews with several news outlets that he was the victim of a hate crime. He said he had no sense of security and planned to move his family from the neighborhood.

To bolster his claim of being the target of a racially motivated attack and to divert attention from himself, Cuthrell painted the N-word on two sides of his house in the 7800 block of Little Ridge Court, Khawaja said. {snip}

Police said Cuthrell became the focus of their investigation within 10 days and he was arrested April 2. The prosecutor said Cuthrell eventually admitted to setting the fires, telling investigators he was motivated by family financial problems.


Chesterfield Circuit Judge T.J. Hauler accepted Cuthrell’s guilty plea Tuesday and set sentencing for Oct. 31. The offense carries a minimum punishment of five years in prison and a maximum term of life.

Khawaja told the court Tuesday that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Richmond plans to charge Cuthrell with lying to a federal agent but would recommend he receive probation for that offense if he pleads guilty.

For the misdemeanor offense, to which Cuthrell pleaded guilty June 6, Cuthrell was sentenced to 12 months in jail with 12 months suspended.


After the hearing, defense attorney Richard Gates said Cuthrell will have been incarcerated seven months by the time of his sentencing hearing, and he hopes the judge will consider a punishment of time served. Gates said it was unclear what Cuthrell hoped to gain by setting the fires, aside from sympathy, because he didn’t own the house and filed no insurance claims.


Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • I guarantee you that the police, FBI, and news stations all had Cuthrell immediately zeroed in as Suspect #1. I wonder if Al and Jesse are coming up with the same conclusions by this point.

    • [Guest]

      The article says this: “Police said Cuthrell became the focus of their investigation within 10 days.”

      As fast as the race merchants work, you’d think that they’d have had their candlelit vigils against racial hate organized before police noticed that Olander’s fingertips were stained with spray paint and his clothes smelled of smoke.

  • [Guest]

    If it’s a crime to incite hate, then Olander D. Cuthrell is guilty of inciting hate by falsely claiming he was the victim of hate.

    >>>he was motivated by family financial problems

    >>>he didn’t own the house and filed no insurance claims

    I suppose that his actions make sense to certain segments of the population.

    • GeneticsareDestiny

      Understanding how home ownership and insurance claims work was probably beyond his comprehension level. To him, it was “light house on fire = big payout!”

      • [Guest]

        From the article: “…an inoperable, family-owned 1992 BMW parked outside the house…”

        When he didn’t get that big payout, his plan to buy rims for his ride went up in smoke.

    • Oil Can Harry

      Reverend Cutthroat went from being a racial arsonist to an actual one.

  • A minister is supposed to be a pillar of the community and have plenty of life experience; 41 doesn’t cut it. Would you ask Cuthrell for advice about family trouble?

    • [Guest]

      Olander was something called “minister of music.” At best, he might have been able to advise someone where to acquire a secondhand programmable electronic keyboard or how to ululate like Whitney Houston.

    • I wouldn’t ask Cuthrell where the supermarket was because that would imply that I had something to spend.

    • Evette Coutier

      In his community he likely was a pillar of morality.

    • disqus_Xz3UA6obwj

      Supposed to be and what they actually are, are two very different things. They trade false hope for handouts for a living and that certainly is no virtue in my book.

    • Sick of it

      Apparently his son is more mature and responsible than the good minister.

  • Truthseeker

    This is what you get when you frame your worldview around a sense of oppression. Once you can no longer find any real “racists,” you have to start inventing them. The only alternative is to rethink everything you’d always believed, which would then lead you to the realization that you have to take responsibility for your own problems instead of blaming them on others, and let’s be honest, which one is easier? “Oppressed” status carries enough privileges that those who have it aren’t going to give it up easily.

    • caleb taursus

      Well-reasoned and written, Truthseeker.

      Great analysis of this sore on America’s hindside. Caleb

  • David Ashton

    Was a stocky Jewish-Peruvian seen lurking in the vicinity?

  • Spartacus

    “A black Baptist minister…”


    You can be sure God, if he exists, gave your skin the color of feces for a reason…

  • Luca

    A black person faking a hate crime! My goodness, that’s the first time I heard something like that in about 24……………………………………….. hours..

  • bigone4u

    Blacks seem to be natural born criminals, but like with almost everything else, they’re just not any good at it. Stupid is as stupid does.

  • Olander Cuthrell, R.C. Sproul, I get ’em mixed up all the time.

    Tell me, from precisely which cracker jack box did Cuthrell get his theology degree?

    • foundingstockcracker

      He’d fit right in at R.C. Jr’s church.

      • Don’t get me started on Junior.

        Then again, Senior isn’t and never exactly was racially minded. Maybe we can interpret something about the tree for the apple that fell from it.

        The Sproul’s ministries’ world HQ? Sanford, Florida.

  • MekongDelta69

    If NoBama had a younger gangsta thug brother (or brutha) who was a ‘minister of music’…

    Btw, these black people and their fake titles (e.g. ‘Minister of Defense’ of the New Black Panther Party, ad infinitum), to make them seem sooooo very important, when IRL, they’re nothing.

    • They also do this while living in a developed country in which everyone else has been able to make it.

      I like it when weirdos give themselves whacked-out titles. Idi Amin probably takes the cake with “His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes in the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire”, but Linda Thompson decided she was “Acting Adjutant General” or some such thing. Isn’t an A.G. really some sort of administrative assistant and an office position rather than a real rank? This behavior helps normal people identify them as moonbat crazy.

      • Earl Turner

        I remember Linda Thompson from the shortwave days in the 90’s. Wow. Haven’t thought about her in years. Is she still around?

        • The Wikipedia bio said she died in 2009. She was only 56 at the time, but cause of death was not mentioned.

  • exLibtard

    Typical ape. They thrive on negative attention.

  • Funruffian

    These hoaxes in the Black communities are not uncommon and have occurred in a variety of forms. I’ve heard Black kids in ghettoes string up effigies of slaves on nooses accompanied by Racial epithets painted on their houses. This has happened many times and the Media, of course, ignores it. The bleeding heart liberals will always side with the hoax artists even if their scheme was completely moronic and implausible.

    • We read here about a black university professor a few years ago who knotted some string outside her office and then pretended to freak out about a “noose”. At the time of her hoax, she was under investigation for plagiarizing work from one of her students, leaving nobody under any illusions about her honesty.

      This behavior is not confined to the “ghetto”, unless one accepts that wherever an African goes, there is Africa.

      • [Guest]

        That was professor Madonna G. Constantine at Columbia University. The “noose” incident was national news at the time, but somehow her repeated acts of plagiarism didn’t get quite so much coverage.

        Here’s an article about this saintly African-American intellectual by Adam Goldman at “The Washington Post”:

        NEW YORK — The noose found dangling from professor Madonna Constantine’s office door was a deeply personal insult to the Columbia University scholar devoted to improving race relations.

        The ugly incident left her stunned, but also determined to continue her work exploring ways to identify and combat racism.

        link: http://www[dot]washingtonpost[dot]com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/11/AR2007101101602%5Bdot%5Dhtml

  • You forgot to include “towering inferiority complex” in your equation.

  • Sloppo

    I grew up going to Baptist churches, but I discovered several years ago that the black Baptist churches are different than the ones I went to.

    • joesolargenius

      In the Bibles being used specifically by Blacks you will find that all the pictures of Jesus are of a Black man, this is because he is described in the Bible as having hair like lamb’s wool. Which is the same kind of hair that a hundred million other non black middle easterners also have , I saw many of these bibles while cleaning up after Hurricane Katrinia .

      • Sloppo

        I have owned a couple of lambs and I have observed many others. They all had blond hair with a texture very much unlike velcro.

      • elijahx

        Revelation 1:14 “His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow;” Describing color, not texture.

  • Earl Turner

    Probably mis-spelled “the n-word” as ‘nigga’.

    • Misspelled words on graffiti is a telltale sign of a hoax. Meanwhile, if the graffiti has words that are four syllables or longer, it’s probably far-left white anarchists.