City man charged in fire at church

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 17, 2005

Suffolk Police say an 18-year-old Linden Avenue resident already facing charges from a previous incident was arrested Thursday evening in connection with the fire that caused an estimated $100,000 in damage to St. Mary’s Catholic Church Oct. 7.

James Dean Henderson was arrested on Wilroy Road and charged with burglary, arson and grand larceny, according to a spokesperson with the Suffolk Police Department. Two TV sets and a case of wine were taken from the church during the incident. Investigators from the Suffolk Police Department, Suffolk Fire Department as well as Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms investigated the Broad Street crime and secured the warrants. As of Friday evening, Henderson was being held at the Western Tidewater Regional Jail.

&uot;Based on the information we have, we don’t expect any more warrants,&uot; said police spokeswoman Debbie George. &uot;But that could change.&uot;

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On Sept. 24, Henderson was charged with being drunk in public, disorderly conduct and assault and battery. He’s scheduled for a Nov. 21 preliminary hearing on the church fire, and a Dec. 7 hearing on the previous charges.

&uot;My immediate thought is that I think the police have done an excellent job,&uot; said St. Mary’s pastor Lou Ruoff, whose parish has found a temporary home at nearby Baker Funeral Home. &uot;They’ve been very professional and concerned about the church.

&uot;As far as (Henderson) himself, I’ll let the law deal with that. I think my folks would be pleased, and I’m pleased that the police have a done a good job.&uot;