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.