Cathedral Arson Suspect in Court - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

10/16/03

Cathedral Arson Suspect in Court

Smith (center) in court today. Smith (center) in court today.

The suspect in last week's arson at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist made another court appearance today. A preliminary hearing was held for 31-year-old Stuart Smith of Marietta, Georgia, in Chatham County. Judge Larry Dillon decided that there is enough evidence in the case for Smith to stand trial. Smith is charged with arson and aggravated assault. Last week, he told police he tried to burn the cathedral down because he was disturbed about the world's religions.

The damage from last Tuesday's fire is expected to cost tens of thousands of dollars. The fire destroyed a hand-carved pulpit and bishop's chair and charred walls. There was also a lot of smoke damage. Just three years ago, the cathedral reopened after a multimillion-dollar restoration project.

Reported by: Tarcia Bush, tbush@wtoc.com

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