Judge sentences arson suspects to multiple life sentences

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The two arson suspects in the string of East Texas church fires have been sentenced by Smith County District Judge Christi Kennedy.

Jason Borque, 20, has been sentenced to five life sentences for arson and three 20 year sentences for attempted arson. The sentencing was broken down by church, with life sentences being served for: Dover Baptist, Clear Spring Missionary, Tyland Baptist, First Church of Christ Scientist, and Fellowship of Prairie Creek Church.

Restitution for all churches will be determined at a future date. Borque has waved his right to appeal. We're told his mother broke down in tears after each sentence was read.

Jason Bourque will be eligible for parole after he serves 20 years, but will not begin to serve his third 20 year sentence until he is paroled on five life terms and two 20 year terms.

According to Matt Bingham, "It is important to recognize that Jason Bourque has never talked to law enforcement, but Daniel McAllister has."

Daniel McAlister, 22, has been sentenced to 2 life sentences for arson in his involvement in the church fires at Dover Baptist and Clear Spring Missionary Church. McAlister also received two 20 year sentences for attempted arsons at Pinebrook and Clearview Church.

Daniel McAllister will be eligible for parole after he serves 15 years.

"Daniel McAllister and Jason Bourque have been held accountable today for what they did," said Matt Bingham.

David Martin with Pinebrook Baptist had the following impact statement:
"Young men I come with a heavy heart this morning," said Martin. "I didn't sleep last night. I thank God that nobody was harmed through it...I ask you to get on your knees and ask forgiveness from God, which he will and he'll use you in a mighty way...We forgive you."

Dwight Lawson with Clearview Baptist said, " I've been praying for you and praying about this whole thing."

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