Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Church Arsonist in Dago Gets Time in Ha-Ha Hotel

01 madman


Editor’s Note:

I’ve heard of “the devil made me do it”, but “St Gregory of Nyssa made me do it” is a new one on me. Pass the jug and cross yourself… the world’s being its usual capricious, sardonic, and unpredictable self. However, the perp’s in the laughing academy where he belongs… I think that he did it deliberately to get back in. No lie; there are folks like that, kids. It DOES take all kinds…

It’s not usual for the GOAA to have “house churches”… they don’t go in for “small”. Yet, the church illustration on the GOAA site does look rather small, indeed… one wonders “why?”



On Tuesday, a court ordered a man who set fire to a church in Rancho San Diego CA and attacked a cellmate four days after his arrest to spend seven years and four months in a state mental hospital. Last month, Darin Wayne Williams, 39, pleaded guilty to arson and assault with intent to commit mayhem. Following a full evaluation by two court-appointed doctors, attorneys on both sides agreed that Williams was legally insane at the time of both offenses. On Tuesday, Judge John Thompson ordered Williams committed to Patton State Hospital for the seven-year-plus term. Deputy District Attorney David Williams III, who’s not a relative of the defendant, said that Williams would “receive treatment for a major mental illness and the public will remain protected”. According to the prosecutor, if, after seven years and four months at the hospital, doctors determine the defendant still poses a threat to the community, he could stay there for two-year extensions for the rest of his life.

On 27 January, cops arrested the defendant within hours of a fire that caused about 250,000 USD (8.24 million Roubles. 262,000 CAD. 268,000 AUD. 186,000 Euros. 156,000 UK Pounds) in damage to St Gregory of Nyssa Greek Orthodox Church in the 1900 block of Maryann Way at Jamacha Road. According to authorities, Williams said that his patron saint, St Gregory of Nyssa, told him to do it. There were no injuries caused by the 04.00 PDT blaze, which the sheriff’s Bomb/Arson Unit and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives investigated. Before the fire, church officials knew the defendant. Rev Simeon Corona, a Greek Orthodox priest, told reporters that Williams was in psychiatric hospitals before, but he released from one shortly before he set the fire. Fr Simeon told 10News, “He was a sick young man. He was a member as best he could be. We helped him as best we could, as well, but he was ill; off his medications and obviously got violent”. Rev Corona said that he and the parish forgave Williams, adding, “We still pray for him daily and at every service. We want the best for him, that he’ll get the help he needs”. According to the priest, Williams rented a room from a parishioner and became upset after his landlord told him that he couldn’t stay there unless he took his medication. His motive for attacking his cellmate was unclear. The parish is building a new church on the site; it hopes to complete it in time for Christmas services.


On Tuesday, a court ordered a man who set fire to a Greek Orthodox church in unincorporated El Cajon CA sent to a state mental hospital for a seven-year term. Later, the perp attacked his cellmate in county jail. In October, Darin Wayne Williams, 39, admitted that he committed arson and assault with intent to commit mayhem in connection with both incidents. Two court-appointed doctors examined him and determined that he was legally insane at the time of the offenses. Previously, his lawyer, Deputy Public Defender Paul Rodriguez, entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity on Williams’ behalf. On Tuesday, at a sentencing hearing, El Cajon Judge John Thompson ordered Williams committed to Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino County for seven years and four months. Deputy District Attorney David Williams III, who’s not a relative of the defendant, said in a phone interview that the defendant would receive care at the hospital “for his major mental illness, and the public will remain protected”. He said that if doctors determine at the end of that term that the defendant still poses a danger to the community, potentially, they could extend his commitment in hospital for the rest of his life.

On 27 January, Cops arrested Darin Williams, hours after the fire started at St Gregory of Nyssa Greek Orthodox Church. The blaze started about 04.00 PDT, under a patio in the back of the church off Jamacha Road near Hidden Mesa Road. The church building was a converted single-family home. Early estimates of the damage were close to 250,000 USD. The attack on Williams’ cellmate happened on 31 January.

Dana Littlefield


19 November 2013

KGTV ABC 10 News

U-T San Diego




Monday, 28 January 2013

Investigators Say Fire at El Cajon CA Church Was Hate Crime



Another in a flurry of apparently unrelated incidents that investigators are looking into as hate crimes took place over the weekend in Southern California, when someone set a Greek Orthodox church ablaze. The fire at St Gregory of Nyssa Greek Orthodox Church in San Diego County broke out at about 04.00 PST (07.00 EST 12.00 UTC 16.00 MSK 23.00 AEST) on Sunday. Neighbours in the unincorporated area of El Cajon where the church is located reported the blaze to authorities. Fire-fighters from Cal Fire, San Miguel Fire District, Heartland Fire, and Lakeside all worked together to tackle the blaze. Officials said that crews were able to extinguish the fire within 45 minutes. There was no one inside the church at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported.

Investigators from the Sheriff’s Bomb/Arson Unit and a fire investigator from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives were called to investigate the cause and origin of the fire. According to the Sheriff’s Department, the fire caused about 250,000 USD (7.55 million Roubles. 186,000 Euros. 160,000 UK Pounds) in damages to the church. Investigators identified a person of interest in connection to the fire. Investigators immediately contacted suspect Darin Williams, 38, and they arrested him for suspicion of arson, burglary, and a hate crime. Williams was booked into San Diego Central Jail; he’s being held on 150,000 USD (4.53 million Roubles. 112,000 Euros. 96,000 UK Pounds) bail. He’s scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday. No further details were immediately released, as the investigation is still underway.

 28 January 2013

Monica Garske

Sharon Bernstein

4 NBC Southern California



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