East Texas Church Arsonists Get Another Life Term

ATHENS (AP) – Two men already sentenced to life in prison over five church fires in East Texas have pleaded guilty to more blazes.

A judge in Athens sentenced 21-year-old Jason Robert Bourque and 23-year-old Daniel George McAllister to additional life terms, to be served concurrently.

Bourque on Jan. 11 was indicted on three arsons counts, while McAllister was charged with two arson counts. Both pleaded guilty Tuesday in a plea agreement that resolved three church fires last year in Henderson County.

The men last month were sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty related to five church fires in Smith County. They’re expected in court Friday over two church fires in Van Zandt County.

Nobody was hurt in the 10 church fires in January and February of 2010.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


One Comment

  1. Ron says:

    Life for burning down a building? But a drunk driver who kills someone may get probation

    1. They Hate Me says:

      Ron, you’re an IDIOT, they burned down a place of worship, the house of GOD. You better believe when judgement comes GOD will have his due…remember, that FOOL!

      1. Ron says:

        I guess a building is much more imortant than person.

  2. Michael D, says:

    How, other than concurrently, could one possibly serve more than one life sentence? It’s not like you could serve one and then begin another.

    1. Drew, JD says:

      The reason that life sentences are sometimes stacked consecutively (rather than concurrently) is to insure that, in the event the convicted is granted parole, commutation or some other relief on the first life sentence, they are not automatically released from prison but must still serve the remaining sentence.

      As an example, Texas law does not allow for a life sentence without the possibility of parole (unless there’s been a change in the last few years). So in this case, if parole were someday granted, these guys would go free. If the sentences had been stacked consecutively, then if parole were granted on the first conviction, there would still be another life sentence waiting to be served.

      Simply put, it’s a way to insure that someone convicted of multiple life-in-prision felonies will never again see the light of day. (And, for the record, I’m not saying that’s good, bad or indifferent…just explaining the technical aspects.)

  3. ChuckSSSS says:

    Absolutely ridiculous …. a life sentence for arson. So much for Jesus preaching forgiveness. I bet the holy rollers in East Texas would’ve preferred a death sentence.

    1. They Hate Me says:

      No, Chuckie. What’s ridiculous is that you condone anybody setting fires (arson). I guess when your house, or property is set on fire by some fools I guess you’ll say…they got off w/o any jail time. And don’t you dare disrespect the Lord in vain. Jesus will surely forgive these fools, but, remember he’s a just and angry God as well. He will punish the guilty and unjust. You’re such an ignorant FOOL.

      1. DoobyTCat says:

        I deny the holy spirit.

  4. John Crowley says:

    America has 5% of the world’s population but 25% of the world’s prison population.

    Is this any surprise when we choose to treat a crime such as arson like the mutilation of a corpse by a cold-blooded murderer or large scale robbery?

    It is time for America to reform it’s basic approach to criminal justice and focus on legitimate, violent crime and not punish non-violent offenders with personal problems such as mental instability (likely these boys need some attention) or a personal, medical problem such as addiction to alcohol or other scheduled substances.

    Allow the families, friends, treatment centers and rehab groups, voluntary organizations and churches reach out and help those with afflictions such as drug addiction and anti-social behavior and mental problems and stop wasting taxpayer money locking people in cages like animals and turning them into hardened, dangerous criminals.

  5. Sandra Johnson says:

    I agree that arsonists should be punished but I also think that life without the possibility of parole is too harsh. Thankfully, no one was hurt in these fires. That would have changed my way of thinking.

    I think these sentences are out of line when compared to other sentences that are given out. Remember the drunk driver who killed four girls from Brock? He got a 20 year sentence for causing the death of four people!!!

    I think that sentences should be more regulated if that is a possibility so that the sentence fits the crime.

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