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Community time follows church arsons

A Nicola Valley man has pleaded guilty to a string of church arsons that occurred little more than two years ago, including the burning of the historic Murray Church.
Merritt church fire
The historic Murray Church in Merritt was destroyed by fire on Jan. 11, 2019.

A Nicola Valley man has pleaded guilty to a string of church arsons that occurred little more than two years ago, including the burning of the historic Murray Church.

August David Caprian, 39, of Merritt appeared before a judge for sentencing on July 23, where he pleaded guilty to three counts of arson and one count of break and enter with intent, stemming from multiple arsons that occurred on Jan. 11, 2019.

The 150-year old Murray Church, originally constructed in 1867, was levelled by the fire, leading to fundraising efforts to have it rebuilt, which were largely completed this past winter.

The Shulus Catholic Church and the Crossroads Church were also set fire.

Caprian received a 24-month conditional sentence order, meaning he will serve time in the community on a list of rules and restrictions and not be sent to prison.