Church fire suspects given $50,000 bond

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 16, 2006


A U.S. magistrate has set a bond for three college students arrested for allegedly setting nine church fires in Bibb County and West Alabama.

Bonds for Matthew Lee Cloyd of Indian Springs, 20, and Benjamin Moseley, 19, and Russell DeBusk, 19, were set at $50,000 the judge Robert Armstrong Jr. ruled Thursday morning.

The three have been held at the Shelby County jail since March 8. They are charged in a two-count complaint with conspiracy to damage and destroy buildings by fire and one count of maliciously damaging and destroying by fire the Ashby Baptist Church in Brierfield.

&uot;Magistrate Judge Armstrong has set a bond with conditions for the three defendants in the church arson fires,&uot; U.S. Attorney Alice Martin said in a statement Thursday morning. &uot;We are disappointed that he did not order continued detention as requested by the United States.

Martin said that should any of the defendants post bond, they would likely be arrested on state chargers by law enforcement officials from Bibb County.

&uot;As a practical matter the public should know that if the defendants make bond they will not be going home,&uot; Martin said. &uot;Bibb County has issued arrest warrants and detainers, so if federal bond is made these defendants will immediately go into state custody.&uot;

Some of the conditions in the bond included 24-hour house confinement and electronic monitoring.

According to media reports, Cloyd’s attorney, Tommy Spina, said that his client will not be posting bond. It was not known on Thursday whether the other defendants would post bond or remain in jail