Police Say Marysville Church Fire Started By Former Member

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30-year-old Stephen Beightler remains in jail on charges of arson and receiving stolen property.(Photo: Union County Sheriff's Office)
30-year-old Stephen Beightler remains in jail on charges of arson and receiving stolen property.(Photo: Union County Sheriff's Office)

Police now say the man accused of driving a stolen car into a Marysville-area church is a former church member.

Authorities says it’s still unclear why 30-year-old Stephen Beightler drove from Philadelphia back to his home town of Marysville, but Union County Sheriff Jamie Patton says Beightler was arrested early Tuesday shortly after responders found him calmly sitting in a swing set outside the burning New Horizons Baptist Church.

“He was just swinging in the swing set. He was not combative. He was taken into custody without any problems what so ever, but he did not have much to say at all,” Patton says.

The church is a total loss, and it’s the only church fire Patton can remember in his years of law enforcement in the area.

Beightler remains in jail on charges of arson and receiving stolen property. He has another court date next Thursday.

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