Man Sentenced for Setting Church Fire

By: WHSV News Staff Email
By: WHSV News Staff Email

AUGUSTA COUNTY (WHSV) A man found guilty of setting a church on fire will spend the next eight years in prison.

According to police, Paul Cupp caused damage from a fire he started he at the Hildebrand Mennonite Church. Cupp was convicted of using rags, gasoline and plastic bottles found in his home to burn the church down.

On Friday, a judge sentenced Cupp to eight years in prison, which is the same sentence the jury recommended.

In Augusta County Circuit Court on Friday, Cupp's attorney argued the jury's recommendation was too harsh. The prosecution said Cupp's criminal history, including his previous convictions for arson, shows the prison term is needed.

The judge said he believes Augusta County has a low tolerance for arson, especially by someone with Cupp's criminal record, so he upheld the jury's recommendation.


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