CitizenLink: Three Sentenced to Prison for Alabama Church Fires:

4-10-2007

Three Sentenced to Prison for Alabama Church Fires

A judge sentenced three men to federal prison Monday for a series of church fires last year that began as a drunken prank.

According to the Montgomery Advertiser, Matthew Cloyd, 21, and Benjamin Moseley, 20, were sentenced to eight years each. Russell Lee DeBusk Jr., 20, was sentenced to seven years.

U.S. District Judge David Proctor also ordered millions in restitution payments from the three. He also ordered them each to perform 300 hours of community service at the churches involved once they are released.

Each man apologized for the fires. Cloyd expressed remorse for the pain and destruction he caused.

“I’m truly sorry for that,” he said. “I’m ready to accept the consequences of my actions.”

The pastor of one of the burned-out churches hugged the defendants’ parents.

“He’ll be all right,” the Rev. Jim Parker of Ashby Baptist Church said. “We are here for you.”

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