The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado has announced that a 21-year-old man from Loveland has been arrested and charged in connection with an arson church fire. Darion Ray Sexton is accused of causing damage to a church in Loveland by fire. Sexton was ordered to be detained pending trial by U.S. Magistrate Judge James P. O’Hara. According to the criminal complaint, law enforcement responded to an active fire at the church on January 19th, where they found evidence of multiple fires and a broken glass bottle that smelled like gasoline. Footprints in the snow near the church led to Sexton’s residence, and a plastic bottle similar to the one found in the church basement was discovered in his home. The investigation is being conducted by the FBI, ATF, and Loveland Police Department.
Loveland Man Charged in Arson Church Fire
In a recent development, a Loveland man has been charged in connection with an arson church fire. Darion Ray Sexton, aged 21, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint for causing damage to a church in Loveland, Colorado. The incident occurred on the evening of January 19, 2023, when law enforcement responded to an active fire at the church. First responders were able to extinguish a fire at the front door of the church but later discovered evidence of another fire in the church basement, which had been put out by the emergency sprinkler system.
Arrest and Charges
After an investigation, Sexton was arrested and charged with arson for his alleged involvement in the church fire. A criminal complaint was filed against him on January 23, 2023. The specific details of Sexton’s connection to the fire have not been disclosed to the public at this time.
Following Sexton’s arrest, United States Magistrate Judge James P. O’Hara issued a detention order, ordering Sexton to be detained pending trial. The reasons for the detention order have not been made public, but it is likely that concerns about flight risk or potential harm to the community were taken into consideration.
Criminal Complaint Details
The criminal complaint filed against Sexton provides additional information about the incident. It states that the fire at the church occurred on January 19, 2023, in Loveland, Colorado. First responders were able to extinguish a fire at the front door of the church and discovered evidence of another fire in the basement, which had been put out by the sprinkler system.
During the investigation, law enforcement recovered a broken glass bottle near the front door of the church, which smelled like gasoline. Additionally, in the basement, a broken glass bottle and a partially melted plastic bottle were found. Analysis conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) determined that there were multiple areas of fire origin, indicating that the fire was intentionally set in different parts of the church.
Furthermore, a doorbell camera at the church captured footage of a masked individual throwing a destructive device, resembling a Molotov cocktail, at the church’s front door. Footprints in the snow near the church led law enforcement to a neighborhood and eventually to Sexton’s residence. Investigators later found a plastic bottle at Sexton’s home that was similar to the one found in the church basement. Additionally, surveillance video from a Liquor store showed a man, resembling Sexton, purchasing liquor bottles similar to the broken glass bottles found at the church.
Multiple Areas of Fire Origin
The ATF’s analysis confirmed that there were indeed multiple areas of fire origin within the church. This finding is significant as it suggests that the fire was intentionally set in different parts of the building. The presence of multiple origins indicates a deliberate act rather than a random or accidental fire.
Evidence at the Scene
The evidence collected at the scene of the arson fire further supports the suspicion of intentional wrongdoing. Law enforcement found a broken glass bottle near the front door of the church, which had a strong smell of gasoline. In the basement, another broken glass bottle and a partially melted plastic bottle were discovered. These items are believed to be the ignition sources for the fire.
Footprints and Video Surveillance
Footprints in the snow near the church played a critical role in identifying Sexton as a suspect. The footprints led law enforcement to a neighborhood and eventually to Sexton’s residence. Additionally, video surveillance footage from a neighborhood church captured a masked individual, believed to be Sexton, throwing a destructive device at the church’s front door.
The investigation into the arson church fire is being conducted by multiple law enforcement agencies. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Loveland Police Department are all involved in determining the facts of the case and gathering evidence for the prosecution.
Assistant United States Attorney Bryan Fields has been assigned to handle the prosecution of Darion Ray Sexton. Fields will be responsible for presenting the evidence gathered by law enforcement agencies and building a case against Sexton.
Presumption of Innocence
It is important to note that the charge against Sexton is an allegation and he is presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. The criminal justice system operates on the principle that every defendant is innocent until proven guilty.
For further information or to request additional details regarding the case, interested parties may contact Deborah Takahara, Public Affairs Specialist, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The provided contact information is accurate as of the updated date of January 27, 2023.