Skip to main content.
A non-profit service providing academics, religion professionals and other researchers with religion & cult news
ReligionNewsBlog

Religion news articles about religious cults, sects, world religions, and related issues

Home | About RNB Related: Cult FAQ | Cult Experts | Apologetics Index | Cult Information Search Engine
More articles about: Jehovah's Witnesses:

Teen pleads innocent to setting fire to Jehovah’s Witness church

Associated Press, USA
Dec. 1, 2003
www.boston.com

ReligionNewsBlog.com • Tuesday December 2, 2003

WESTFIELD, Mass. (AP) A teenager was ordered held on $25,000 bail after he allegedly set a fire that destroyed a Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall.

Robert Nicoletti, 18, of Westfield, pleaded innocent at his arraignment Monday in Westfield District Court on charges of burning a building and breaking and entering. A pretrial conference was scheduled for Dec. 30.

Nicoletti was arrested after he was seen leaving the area of the church, police said. The fire was reported shortly before 6 a.m. on Sunday.

No one was injured, but the two-alarm blaze gutted the 25-by-80-foot church on Southwick Road, according to Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Pac. A nearby storage shed that Nicoletti allegedly broke into was also destroyed.

Authorities estimated the damage at more than $375,000.

Pac said a suspicious liquid that may be gasoline was found around the building, and that apparently sped the fire’s spread. He said it took about two hours to get the blaze under control.

The fire was not believed to be a hate crime.

”We found there’s no direct motive of an anti-religious activity,” state Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said.

”At this point it simply appears to be a crime of opportunity,” said Westfield Police Detective David Ragazzini.

The 35-year-old building had been used by more than 200 Jehovah’s Witnesses with two congregations sharing the building, said Brett Van Sickle of Russell, an elder with one congregation.

He said the building had been insured.

info Original content is © Copyright Religion News Blog. All rights reserved.
    Do not republish or repost. Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

share this article Share this article

tag Related Articles

arrow

Comment Comment

Join Religion News Blog at Google+ to comment, share, and follow.

RSS Feed Follow Us


 Follow

Religion News You May Like This As Well

Why are you not using Nozbe?

Don't you need to get things done?

Religion News Search Search Religion News Blog