Prosecutors drop some charges against Vacaville pastor accused in arson case

By From page A5 | May 29, 2014

FAIRFIELD — Prosecutors announced Wednesday that they are dropping felony theft, perjury and fraud-related charges against a Vacaville church pastor who is also suspected in a related arson case.

The decision came with dozens of potential jurors waiting nearby at the courthouse.

Mark W. Lewis, 39, had been set to stand trial on the charges that his attorney, Thomas Healy, said were without merit. The charges centered on how Lewis came up with $500,000 bail for an arson case that’s still pending.

Prosecutors had claimed Lewis fraudulently used the property of the Fellowship Baptist Church in Vacaville as collateral for the bail. Lewis was out on bail on a separate case when he was arrested in January for the questionable bail.

Lewis was previously arrested in January along with three others after the Jan. 9 firebombing of his ex-girlfriend’s Vacaville home. A search of Lewis’ home and the adjacent Fellowship Baptist Church turned up methamphetamine and an illegal gun, according to police.

Lewis is expected to return to court June 2 for scheduling of a probable cause hearing in the arson case. Lewis’ alleged accomplices – Anthony Newbolt, 33, of Sacramento, Richerd Wright, 28, of Sacramento, and Kristen Broyles, 30, of Citrus Heights – are scheduled for a June 30 probable cause hearing.

Newbolt, Wright and Broyles were arrested shortly after the late-night fire at the Chateau Circle home as they were driving from the area. Police say Lewis promised to pay them $400 for the fire. None of the six occupants in the house, including three children, were hurt in the fire.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

Discussion | 6 comments

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  • Skeptic ScroogeMay 29, 2014 - 12:17 am

    Chicken. Let's drop ALL the charges so he can go hang another woman.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksMay 29, 2014 - 6:46 am

    I’m told the bible says “god works in mysterious ways.” I believe I’ve heard that you are not to “question the word of god?” I’m guessing there is an exclusion n there someplace?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • WonderingMay 29, 2014 - 9:02 am

    So if he was originally arrested on the arson charges, bailed out, and then was re-arrested for charges against the bail money he used for the arson charge, and then charges were dropped for the bail arrest, does that mean he is out of jail from originally bailing himself out? Following? Did you all catch the 20/20 episode on this guy?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Concerned CitizenMay 29, 2014 - 11:02 am

    Fine Job duBain. More waste of the tax payers dollars. If you knew you couldn't prove the case, why spend all our money. You're a joke and are not worthy of the position of District Attorney. KRISHNA ABRAMS FOR DISTRICT ATTORNEY

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • John LawMay 29, 2014 - 1:21 pm

    Hey Jess, why don't you write all of the story, or does the truth not help your buddy Krishna? Why didn't you print that Lewis' case was dismissed because the prosecutor is involved in a double murder case and the Lewis trial judge refused to allow him to continue or trail the Lewis case until that trial finished, even though he could have done so had it not interfered with the judge's vacation schedule, forcing a dismissal and immediate refiling of the case? Why make it sound like Lewis is getting off scot free when you know that's not the case? The Vacaville Reporter published the truth. It's not good enough for the Daily Republic? You enjoy misleading the public with half-truths?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Lou Massini (@Pippino10)June 26, 2014 - 8:30 am

    The Police, DA and witnesses all seem non-credible in this case. Beyond a reasonable doubt? Nope! Dismiss in the interest of justice. A waste of my hard earned tax payer money.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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