Accused Millington Church Arsonist in Court

Accused Millington Church Arsonist in Court

The Millington man accused of setting a church on fire faced a judge Tuesday.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The Millington man accused of setting a church on fire faced a judge Tuesday.

Johnny Rivera is being held in the Millington jail on a half million dollar bond. Rivera did not enter a plea and his case won't be bound over to a grand jury for now. A judge ordered he undergo a psychiatric evaluation. That will determine if he's mentally stable to continue the legal proceedings and stand trial.

Rivera is charged with arson and vandalism. He'll be back in court December 11.

Investigators say Rivera started last Wednesday's fire at St. William Catholic Church. The damage was extensive but no one was hurt.

Rivera is homeless and was often allowed to sleep in the same church he's accused of setting on fire.

Arson is normally a Class C felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison; however, the stakes are raised when it happens at a place of worship. If convicted, Rivera could spend as many as 30 years behind bars.

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