Attorney: Fire at church was a ‘cry for help’

| February 18, 2013

DES MOINES, Iowa —Tina Meyer was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison in connection with a fire set inside an Ames church last year.

Meyer, 51, received a sentence of 10 years in prison for second-degree arson and 10 years in prison for first-degree criminal mischief. The sentences will run at the same time.

Judge Dale Ruigh delivered the sentence on Monday morning in a Story County courtroom.

Meyer's attorney, Maria Ruhtenberg, said the fire at the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church near Iowa State University last September was a suicide attempt and a cry for help.

Ruhtenberg had asked the judge for a suspended sentence and probation because the prison system was not equipped to deal with Meyer's mental illness.

"I embrace the consequences of my behavior with all my heart and all my soul and all my mind. I'm very sorry," said Meyer at the court hearing.

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Category: Church Security

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