Texas Church Arsonist Asks God's Forgiveness

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A court has sentenced two men serving life sentences for last year's string of east Texas church building arsons to additional time after they confessed to two more fires.

The verdicts were handed down after Jason Bourque, 21, and 23-year-old Daniel McAllister entered their guilty pleas on Friday.

Bourque recently explained why he committed the crimes.  He said he was high on the drugs chantix, prozac and marijuana when he helped set 10 churches in east Texas ablaze.

"I was in a daze during most of that whole time, so I can't really say for sure as to any reason," he said.

Bourque is currently serving five life terms for arson and three 20-year sentences for attempted arson -- something he says he deserves but believes is a bit harsh.

"I feel like if it had been commercial buildings and not churches, it wouldn't have been as harsh of a sentence," Bourque said.  "In fact, I've heard other arsons have gotten lesser sentences."

The convicted arsonist also claimed it was never his idea to target the houses of worship, but blamed McAllister for the plan.

"He made a lot of comments like I said before about how the churches were corrupt and controlling and that we should burn them all down," Bourque said.

According to Bourque, it wasn't until after the drugs wore off that he realized what he had done -- for that reason he has prayed for God's forgiveness.

"I think He also knows my heart and knows that it wasn't something I intentionally did, and the medication was the reason for it," he said.

The 20-year-old has also asked the people he hurt to forgive him.

"I'm sorry," Bourque said. "I hope everybody forgives me. I want to also say that I forgive the people who have spoken hatefully and who've lied about me -- especially Daniel."

Bourque said he hopes good can someday come from his tragic actions.

"I want people to see the good that's come from it and see how God turns bad circumstances around like He says He can do," he said.

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CBN News
Charlene  Aaron

Charlene Aaron

CBN News Reporter

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter and helps anchor for the CBN News Channel.  Follow her on Twitter @CharNews and "like" her at Facebook.com/CharleneIsraelCBNNews.