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Man Charged With Arson For Church Fires In St. George

A man has been charged with three counts of arson after allegedly setting fire to three meetinghouses of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in St. George. On Tuesday morning, firefighters responded to reports of fires at multiple churches. Police pursued a suspect from the scene through Hurricane and Springdale before eventually crashing his vehicle at the entrance of Zion National Park. Benjamin James Johnson, 36, admitted to setting the fires and described his actions as “righteous anger.” During questioning, Benjamin referred to himself as a deity and spit on a detective, according to officers. One church building suffered significant fire damage, while the other two were affected by fire and water damage as well as damage to the landscaping.

Caroline Long is a science reporter at UPR. She is curious about the natural world and passionate about communicating her findings with others. As a PhD student in Biology at Utah State University, she spends most of her time in the lab or at the coyote facility, studying social behavior. In her free time, she enjoys making art, listening to music, and hiking.