FAIRFIELD — A Vacaville pastor was ordered Tuesday to stand trial on felony theft, perjury and fraud-related charges linked to his alleged use of church property as collateral for bail to get of jail.
Vacaville police arrested the Rev. Mark W. Lewis, 39, and three others after the Jan. 9 firebombing of his ex-girlfriend’s Vacaville home. A search of his home and the Fellowship Baptist Church turned up methamphetamine and an illegal gun, according to police.
Lewis posted $500,000 bail that investigators later decided had been obtained fraudulently. He was arrested again Jan. 24 after prosecutors filed additional felony charges against him for the questionable bail.
Judge Peter B. Foor wrapped up a lengthy probable cause hearing Tuesday by saying Lewis likely broke the law by claiming to a bail bondsman that church officials allowed him to use church property to cover the $40,000 he needed for bail. Foor also ruled there was no evidence to support prosecutor’s claims that Lewis had lied about the church’s tax-status in 2008 when he obtained a $1.5 million loan from a credit union.
Lewis was ordered to return to court April 15 to be arraigned on the white-collar crimes. The arson, conspiracy and other charges are on hold until then.
The other suspects in the arson case are scheduled to be in court Wednesday to set a date for their probable cause hearing.
Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.