Friday, March 10, 2006

Three College Students Arrested For Church Arson

One of the students said it started as a joke...

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (CNN) -- Three Birmingham college students were arrested and charged Wednesday in connection with a string of Alabama church fires that is described in court papers as a joke that "got out of hand," authorities said.

A college prank?

The students -- Ben Moseley and Russell DeBusk, both 19, and Matthew Lee Cloyd, 20 -- are suspected in nine of the 10 fires last month.

The suspects were held on federal charges of conspiracy and setting fire to Ashby Baptist Church in Bibb County. In court filings, all three admitted being involved in the arson fires. No one was injured in any of the blazes.
U.S. Attorney Alice Martin said further charges are possible and that, if convicted, the students would face minimum sentences of five years for each count.
Who commits a hate crime and long term prison term nine times over a joke?

"Cloyd stated to the witness that Moseley did it as a joke and it got out of hand," an affidavit in the case states. "Cloyd stated that they set a church on fire."

Moseley and DeBusk admitted involvement in the fires, as well, the affidavit states. DeBusk said he was at the scene of the fires in Bibb County, where the three had been deer hunting the first weekend of February, and kicked in the door of two churches that later were set ablaze.

Moseley told investigators that he and Cloyd set the other four fires "as a diversion to throw investigators off," the affidavit states. When questioned by investigators, "Moseley said the diversion obviously did not work.

None of the three has a previous criminal record, said Richard Montgomery, Alabama's state fire marshal.

DeBusk is a theater major at Birmingham-Southern, while Moseley's major was undeclared, college officials said. Mark Doll, a Birmingham-Southern sophomore who said he plays in a band with Moseley, told CNN he never heard Moseley speak of religion.

I'm not buying it, and I'm surprized the police are. The arson as humor story is bad enough, but nine times? A joke is egging someone's house or the ol' TP treatment. Burning down a church is a hate crime.


has an article going a little deeper into the character of Cloyd.


Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

Well they sure do have a criminal record NOW dont they?
a joke is knock knock..

March 12, 2006  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Something mighty wrong with these jokesters.

Ever seen Hitchcock's film Rope?

March 12, 2006  
Blogger kevin said...

haven't seen it, I do like alfres movies though. Nice new logo btw.

March 12, 2006  

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