CENTREVILLE, Ala. -- Three Birmingham college students charged in a string of rural church fires in central and west Alabama are now facing an array of state charges.
Alabama Attorney General Troy King announced the charges at a news conference in Centreville Wednesday. He said the state intends to make certain that "justice will be had" in the church arson case.
"I have said from the beginning that there is nothing more despicable than a cowardly attack under the cover of darkness against a house of worship. It is an attack upon our values, upon decency, (and) upon our way of life. These three men did just that," said King.
King said the indictments were returned against Russell Lee Debusk Jr. of Hoover, Benjamin Nathan Moseley of Grayson Valley, both 19, and 20-year-old Matthew Lee Cloyd of Indian Springs.
Mosley and Cloyd are charged with nine counts of second-degree arson and nine counts of third-degree burglary in fires February 3rd at five churches in Bibb County and four on February 7th in Greene, Sumter and Pickens counties.
Debusk is charged with five counts of second-degree arson and five counts of third-degree burglary in the Bibb County fires.
The three, who were arrested March 8th by a federal-state task force, also face a host of federal charges in the case. They are being held in the Shelby County Jail.