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The Sterling Weekly
Judge Shocks Community
Staff Writer court last Wednesday when he passed sentence in the Clint Hayes case. Hayes, twenty seven, who works for Bud Parsons at Bud’s Private Club, was found guilty of burning Saved By Grace Community Church last April.
Originally, Hayes was arrested for arson. His fingerprints were found on a beer bottle in the church parking lot the night the church burned, but a sheriff’s investigation revealed the fire was caused by a cigarette that Hayes threw into an azalea bed. Authorities believe the cigarette caused the dry mulch around the bushes to catch fire, and the flames spread to the church. The building was a total loss.
After consultation with Reverend Neal Amos, the pastor of Saved By Grace, Judge Lowe sentenced Hayes to six months in the care of Reverend Amos who in effect will be his jailor.
“The verdict was a surprise,” admitted Rachel Amos, twenty four, the minister’s daughter. “My father discussed the situation with my mother and me, but to be honest we never dreamed the judge would go along with it.”
Several members of Saved By Grace have expressed their support for Reverend Amos’ decision, but they admit there are some who want nothing to do with Hayes.
Local civil rights groups have announced their intention to get the verdict overthrown, but so far Hayes says he wants the sentence to stand.
Until the new church is constructed, Saved By Grace is meeting at Sterling High School. Sunday School is at ten o’clock followed by worship at eleven. Anyone wishing to make a donation to Saved By Grace’s building fund may do so at People’s National Bank.