Hacienda Heights Parolee Charged in Church Arson Fire

| May 19, 2012

WEST COVINA — A man accused of setting a fire that caused more than $6.5 million in damage to St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Hacienda Heights last spring made his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon on arson and other charges.

Gregory Yusuke Shiga, 34, of Hacienda Heights was arrested Monday after a yearlong investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Arson/Explosives Detail and the FBI, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Shiga is charged with one count each of aggravated arson, arson of a structure or forest, possession of flammable material and second-degree commercial burglary. He was represented in his initial arraignment, which was continued to May 30, by a public defender. He remained jailed Wednesday in lieu of $1 million bail.

The criminal complaint alleges that Shiga caused multiple structures to burn; that the arson was caused by use of a device designed to accelerate the fire; and that the blaze caused property damage and other losses in excess of $6.5 million.



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