Fourth arrest for E. Ala. church fires

Phillip Joel Chapman (Courtesy: Lee Co. Sheriff's Office)
Phillip Joel Chapman (Courtesy: Lee Co. Sheriff's Office)

Posted by: John Shryock - bio | email

AUBURN, AL (WSFA) - A fourth person is under arrest and charged in connection with the three February church fires in Lee and Chambers counties.

The suspect, identified as Phillip Joel Chapman, 20, or East Glenn Avenue, Auburn was arrested late Monday night and charged with arson and burglary.

Chapman's arrest comes days after three other suspects were taken into custody.

The three churches included Liberty CME and the Union Hill CME churches in the Oak Bowery community of Chambers County and the Pitts Chapel United Methodist Church near Salem in Lee County.

"No other arrests are expected," State Fire Marshall Ed Paulk said. "We think we have found those responsible. It is a testament to the teamwork of the local fire departments, the Sheriff's Offices of Chambers and Lee Counties, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Auburn Police Department, and the Alabama State Marshals Office."

Chapman is being held at the Lee County Detention Center.

The other three suspects are Christopher Michael Ware, who lives on Cottage Lane in Auburn, and Taylor Hensley Jennings, who lives on Lee County Road 12 and Cody Lauren Jasper, who lives on East Magnolia Avenue.

Those suspects are being held in the Chambers County Jail.