Man denies arson charge in Vt. church fireThe Associated Press | October 24,2013BURLINGTON - A Burlington man was charged Wednesday with setting fire to an historic church downtown.
Alaiksandr Bychkou, 32, told authorities that voices told him there was a treasure in the steeple at the College Street Congregational Church, according to a police affidavit.
Police were called at 5:34 a.m. after the custodian at the College Street Congregational Church found a door open and heard someone in the steeple.
Bychkou was found inside and was initially taken into custody on a charge of unlawful trespass, police said. Shortly afterward, the bell tower erupted in flames.
Bychkou pleaded not guilty Wednesday afternoon to second-degree arson and burglary and was jailed for lack of $25,000 bail.
A judge ordered him to undergo a mental health evaluation.
The fire was largely contained to the church steeple and the building is not a total loss, Fire Chief Seth Lasker said. A church official told the Burlington Free Press that engineers determined that the steeple must be removed.
"Engineers have told us that we need to take it down before it falls down," said Nick Hardin, a member of the College Street Congregational Church.MORE IN This Just InBy George V. Nostrand Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Julius Caesar dedicates a temple to his mythical ancestor, Venus Genetrix; on this day in 1933, FBI agents in Memphis, Tennessee, arrest Machine Gun Kelly; Yves Rossi flies the English Channel with home-made jet-pack.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1852, Henri Giffard demonstrates the first steam-powered airship, sailing 17 miles from Paris to Trappes; on this day in 1877, Japanese imperial troops crush the Satsuma Rebellion, Saigo Takamori dies in Kagoshima.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: U.S. Rep. Peter Welch meets with Killington business owners, governor candidates debate, Gov. Shumlin discusses progress in anti-opiate campaign, Spanos trial venue moves to White River Junction.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1776, as Nathan Hale is hanged by British military authorities for spying, he utters his famous last words — or does he? In 1975, Sara Jane Moore attempts to kill President Gerald R. Ford in San Francisco.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Patrick McArdle reports and the theft of an $89,000 shotgun, police release a video of the Monday Castleton robbery, O'Gorman reports a lawsuit by a local man claiming his vehicle unlawfully seized, police leave him in cold.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Giles Corey of Salem, Mass., is pressed to death during the Salem witch trials; on this day in 1952, film comedian Charlie Chaplin, while traveling to England, is denied re-entry into the United States by U.S. attorney general.