Louisiana pastor, while on house arrest, again defies coronavirus order with church service

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This photo provided by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office shows Tony Spell, who was taken to jail Tuesday morning, April 21, 2020, after being arrested by police in Central, Louisiana, on charges including aggravated assault. Officials in Louisiana arrested the pastor, who allegedly drove a bus at a man protesting the pastor’s continued defiance of orders to stay at home to limit the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. (East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office via AP)

(NBC)—A Louisiana pastor who defied state orders against large gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic has been placed under house arrest.

Tony Spell, pastor of Life Tabernacle Church in the city of Central, has been fitted with an ankle bracelet and placed under house arrest after he would not promise to maintain social distancing, his attorney confirmed Sunday. Spell has admitted violating Louisiana’s mandate to avoid large gatherings by hosting church services.

Spell showed up to the church’s Sunday service to cheers, according to a livestream posted on Facebook. The pastor showed off his ankle monitor while standing in front of his congregation, claiming, “I’m not hiding anymore.”

“It’s a dirty, rotten, crying shame when you have to hide in America,” he said.

Read the full story on NBCNews.com.

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April 24 2021 08:00 am

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