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Texas church arsonists plead guilty


TYLER, Texas (BP) Two men who attended a Southern Baptist church as teenagers pled guilty Dec. 14 in a string of East Texas church arsons.

Jason Robert Bourque, 19, of Lindale, Texas, and Daniel George McAllister, 21, of Ben Wheeler, Texas, pled guilty in connection with the 10 church arsons in January and February.

Four of the burned churches were Southern Baptist: Lake Athens Baptist Church in Athens, Little Hope Baptist Church in Canton, Tyland Baptist Church in Tyler and Dover Baptist Church in rural Smith County.

As teens, both attended First Baptist Church of Ben Wheeler, according to news reports.

The pair was arrested in mid-February on a tip to agents with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The two could face multiple life sentences and possible restitution for their crimes. Sentencing is slated for Jan. 10.