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Vacaville arson suspects appear in court, sans accused pastor

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January 15, 2014 | 5 Comments

FAIRFIELD — Three of four suspects in the Thursday firebombing of a Vacaville home made their first court appearances Monday.

Kristen M. Broyles, 30, Anthony T. Newbolt, 33, and Richerd J. Wright, 28, all pleaded not guilty to felony charges of arson and possessing an incendiary device. All three suspects were ordered back to court for a Jan. 27 probable cause hearing and are in jail with bail ranging between $155,000 and $290,000.

Vacaville police arrested the trio shortly after 911 calls reporting a fire at around 3:30 a.m. at a home on Chateaus Circle. They were together in a rental car that was stopped for an alleged traffic violation a short time after the report of the fire, which caused only minor damage because residents doused the flames. There were six people, including three children, in the home at the time of the fire.

Police said they talked to Broyles and Newbolt, who said they were homeless and had been staying at the Fellowship Baptist Church on Farrell Road in Vacaville, which is overseen by the Rev. Mark W. Lewis.

Police soon discovered a possible link between Lewis and the targeted home – a resident at the home was Lewis’ ex-girlfriend and had recently obtained a temporary restraining order against Lewis in December claiming that she was the victim of four incidents of harassment and vandalism by Lewis since Christmas, including one incident when bushes in front of the victim’s home were set on fire.

The ex-girlfriend and Lewis were scheduled to appear in court Tuesday to determine whether or not the restraining order should be made permanent.

Investigators served a search warrant at Lewis’ home at the church the day after the trio were arrested. They reported finding an illegal handgun, methamphetamine and evidence pointing to Lewis as a co-conspirator in the arson fire.

Lewis was arrested Friday and was booked into the jail on suspicion of arson, stalking and conspiracy. He was later released after posting $500,000 bail. Prosecutors have not filed charges against Lewis.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or jsullivan@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

This version corrects the spelling of Richerd J. Wright’s first name.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.
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Discussion | 5 comments

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  • JazzAzzJanuary 14, 2014 - 6:53 am

    Some Christian Pastor? Where'd he get his ordination papers, training from, a Cracker Jack's box???

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksJanuary 14, 2014 - 7:56 am

    This might appear to be an extreme example but good 'ole Pastor Lewis is closer to the rule then the exception. Many of you should find a great deal of discomfort in that.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • elldeeJanuary 14, 2014 - 10:18 am

    The investigation of the death of this Pastor's wife 3 years ago should be reconsidered now that this information about his actions have come to light. http://fox40.com/2014/01/13/accusations-continue-to-pile-up-against-vacaville-pastor/

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • elldeeJanuary 14, 2014 - 11:01 am

    The Reporter won't want to cover it, but there should be an investigation into this man's wife's death a few years back now that this new information about his character has come to light.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • BobJanuary 17, 2014 - 1:19 pm

    I just don't understand why the prosecutor's office won't do anything about this guy. Gun, meth, fire bombings (like those folks had any reason to attack that lady other than him), his wife committed "suicide". Is anyone at the helm in Solano County or is it Escape from NY down there?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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