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2 Men Arrested Another Sought For Church Fires

From Fox News:

Benjamin Moseley, Russell Debusk, Matthew Lee Cloyd

Two Men Arrested in String of Alabama Church Fires

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Police arrested two men Wednesday in connection with a string of rural church fires that plagued Alabama in early February; a third suspect is being sought. The third suspect is reportedly in custody, according to FOX News’ Brimingham affiliate WRBC.

Ben Moseley, 19, and Russell DeBusk were taken into custody early Wednesday and charged with conspiracy and individual counts in the arsons at five Bibb County churches and four in west Alabama, officials said.

Matthew Cloyd, 20, is thought to be a student at the University of Alabama Birmingham.

Although the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms offered a $10,000 reward for tips in the case, authorities say Wednesday’s arrests came from “good-old fashioned police work.”

Moseley and Debusk are students at the Birmingham Southern College and were arraigned in the Birmingham federal court today. A press conference was to be held early Wednesday afternoon.

Rep. Spencer Bachus said he believed that religion was not a motive in the fires said Wednesday in an interview with FOX News Radio.

A joint federal-state task force has been investigating nine rural church arsons since Feb. 3. Those nine involved church break-ins, with fires started inside. They also were all rural Baptist churches and in both black and white communities.

Police had been looking for a pair of "bosom buddies," possibly two white males seen in a sport utility vehicle near a number of the fires.

Five churches were hit on Feb. 3 in Bibb County, three of which were destroyed. Four more churches were hit Feb. 7 in various counties, two of which were destroyed. In several cases, the blazes were set at the pulpits and altars. All were set afire during the pre-dawn hours of the day.

A 10th rural Baptist church fire, in Lamar County, has been ruled arson but is not believed to be connected to the others. It was discovered on Feb. 11.


And now a third bravo has been arrested, Matthew Lee Cloyd, a 20-year-old junior at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, March 8th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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