Rusk County authorities arrest man accused of church fire

Rusk County authorities arrest man accused of church fire
Paul W. Kennedy (Source: Rusk County Judicial Records)

RUSK COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - The Rusk County Sheriff’s Office said a man has been formally arraigned on an arson charge stemming from a fire that occurred at a church in Dec.

According to the sheriff’s office, on Dec. 21, 2019, the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office received a call for service at the Shell’s Temple Church of God in Christ, located in Laneville, Texas and preliminary reports were the church was completely engulfed with flames. Due to some inconsistencies with the scene, their Criminal Investigation Division was requested. While examining the scene and some of the details therein, it was determined the fire to be an act of arson.

The sheriff’s office said through their investigation and several other crimes being solved, Paul W. Kennedy has been formally charged and arraigned for the arson and currently has a $100,000 bond set for the offense.

They said their office was also able to link Paul Kennedy to Laneville ISD being broken into and he has also been formally charged and arraigned for that offense, with a bond of $25,000.

The sheriff’s office said currently, Kennedy is being held in the Rusk County Jail, with a total bond amount of $162,500 and seventeen (17) out of county warrants, with other felony charges pending.

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