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ALASKA: Juneau man pleads guilty to Episcopal church arson

10/26/2006

The 110-year-old Church of the Holy Trinity in  Juneau, Alaska was destroyed by a fire on  March 12, 2006.   

 
[Episcopal News Service]  Robert Huber, 24, pleaded guilty October 24 to first-degree arson for setting fire to a boat March 12 parked in a driveway between a house and the Episcopal Church of Holy Trinity (http://www.trinityjuneau.org/) in Juneau, Alaska. The fire burned all the boat and both buildings, causing property damage estimated at $2.25 million.

Prosecutors have recommended a five- to eight-year prison sentence for Huber, according to an Associated Press (AP) report.

Huber's court-appointed attorney, Marcy McDannel, says the incident boils down to a drunken evening gone awry. She says Huber is a religious person who feels horrible about what happened to the church, AP reported.

The 110-year-old church building was the second-oldest in the Alaskan capital. Construction began on Holy Trinity in May 1896 and the first services were held July 26, 1896.

No one was injured in the fire. The parish is in the process of soliciting architectural proposals for a new church building, according to its website. The Rev. George Silides, Holy Trinity's rector, has said the church was insured, but the payments would not cover the full cost of rebuilding or replacing the contents, which could total about $2 million.