Church arson arrest made

| October 2, 2010

FORT MILL — A North Carolina man has been charged with the arson of All Nations Church in May.

Robert Paul Gordon, 41, of Waxhaw, N.C., was charged with second-degree arson, Capt. Jerry Hoffman of the York County Sheriff's Office said. He was booked at the York County Detention Center on Sept. 22 and released on a $3,000 bond, according to a detention center official.

A representative from All Nations Church could not be reached for comment.

According to the arrest warrant, the May 5 fire caused about $3,000 worth of damage to the church at 360 Hammond Road in Fort Mill. The arrest warrant also notes "the defendant also attempted to set fire to four other buildings on the church property."

No one was injured.

At around 5:30 a.m. on May 5, a church maintenance man and three other church members met for morning prayer at the church. When they finished praying, they noticed that the wall of the sanctuary was burning, according to a sheriff's report. The church maintenance man put the fire out with a nearby water hose.

Officials from the York County Fire Marshal's office, State Law Enforcement Division, the sheriff's office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearm and Explosives investigated the fire.

Arson is a felony charge, according to 16th Circuit Deputy Solicitor Willy Thompson. A conviction on second-degree arson could carry a sentence ranging from five to 25 years, he said.

Gordon's court date is slated for Nov. 30.


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