Alleged church arsonists arraigned
POSTED: Monday, February 22, 2010 - 6:23pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 3:25am
TYLER-The two men accused of church arson in East Texas remain behind bars.On Monday they were arraigned and did not have much to say.
Jason Bourque, 19, and Daniel McAllister, 21, stood in front of a judge and were formally charged Monday afternoon. For now, they are charged with one church fire but investigators told us they have evidence that could put the boys at all ten fires.
Bourque and McAllister walked into Judge Christi Kennedy's courtroom Monday with there heads hung low. One at a time they faced Judge Kennedy and were charged with arson with intent to damage a place of worship. Bourque stood with his attorney, Daniel McAllister stood alone. When asked if he needed help affording a lawyer, McAllister said his family "hates him" and would not give him the money. His attorney will be court-appointed.
According to the arrest affidavit, during their investigation of Dover Baptist in Lindale, investigators found a red wing boot print on the back door from the arson trying to kick it open. That same boot print has been previously found at several of the other churches.
Another footprint from a Skechers shoe was also found and traced to other churches.
Along with footprints, surveillance video from two gas stations puts Bourque and McAllister in the area and around the same time of the Dover Baptist and Clear Springs fires on the night of February 8th.
KETK obtained exclusive surveillance video from one of those gas stations.
Last Thursday a tip led agents to Jason Bourque's house in Lindale. After speaking with Bourque, agents noticied a pair of muddy Skecher shoes inside the garage. Agents say the shoe footprint matched the shoe prints they found from several church fires and those churches that were broken into. This led to Bourque's arrest on Sunday morning in Grand Saline.
And the red wing boot print led lawmen to McAllister in Bexar County. It was matched through family members. McAllister's family told agents he bought a bus ticket from Dallas to San Antonio last week. Texas Rangers caught up with McAllister early Sunday morning in Bexar County where he was arrested and taken back to Tyler.
A trial date has not been set, but Judge Kennedy did decide Monday to keep both of their bonds at $10 million.
If found guilty, it's a 1st degree felony which is punishable by up to 5-99 years or life in the state penitentiary.