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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2007
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Man linked to church arson gets 15 years

SYLACAUGA (AP) — A Sylacauga man who pleaded guilty to burglarizing and then burning down a small, 137-year-old church near the Sycamore community has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

At sentencing Wednesday, Talladega County Circuit Judge Julian King denied Preston Dwayne Lindenthalerís bid for probation.

Lindenthaler, 20, and Randy Lee Jones, 19, were indicted for burglary and arson for breaking into Rocky Mount Baptist Church during the weekend of Oct. 7, 2006.

They set the sanctuary and Sunday school annex on fire.

The Daily Home reported that both structures were a total loss.

Lindenthaler pleaded guilty in September. He was initially charged with two counts of burglary.

The count for breaking in with intent to commit theft was dismissed.

District Attorney Steve Giddens said Jones pleaded guilty in May and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The discrepancy in the sentences stemmed from the fact that Lindenthaler had a prior conviction.

1854

The history of Rocky Mount Baptist Church dates to 1854.

The Sunday school annex, which also served the community as a one-room schoolhouse for many years, was built in 1927.

The sanctuary was built in 1972.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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