Church arson convict seeking early release: Victims react

| April 17, 2012

BRIERFIELD, Ala. (WIAT) – Convicted in connection with a string of 2006 church arson cases, Russell Lee DeBusk has been released from federal prison and is facing additional state prison time, according to his attorney Brett Bloomston.

Bloomston is requesting a reduction in DeBusk's two year state sentence saying he has been an exemplary prisoner who wants to work to help the churches he damaged.

Ashby Baptist Church in Bibb County is one of the five that DeBusk and two friends were convicted of setting on fire. The 80 year old building was a total loss.

"Certainly when we first seen it we all like to died, cried and everything else," said Larry Crocker, Ashby Baptist Church member.

"It was heartbreaking, it left a big question in mind of where we're going and what we're going to do," said Tommy Epperson, Ashby Baptist Church deacon.

Even though they were angry at the time, some members of the Ashby Baptist congregation say they are in a better place today than before their church building was destroyed.

They rebuilt with a larger facility at a different location on Hwy. 139.

The entire building is brand new with the exception of the wrought iron columns in front.

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Category: Church Security

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