Crime And Law

Man accused of setting fire to Vandalia church nativity scene indicted by grand jury

VANDALIA — A man arrested earlier this month on arson charges, accused of setting fire to a nativity scene at a Vandalia church, will face criminal charges.

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Garrett Cook, 20, was indicted Friday by a Montgomery County grand jury on felony charges of arson, vandalism, and desecration of a place of worship, according to court documents.

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Cook remains booked in the Montgomery County Jail Friday and has been lodged there since his arrest January 4. He’s being held on a $50,000 bond.

Cook will be arraigned on the charges January 20.

Cook is accused of intentionally setting fires December 1 that caused damage to the nativity scene in front of Hopeland Church on Miller Lane. A second fire also intentionally set damaged a van parked on the church’s property, a spokesperson for the Vandalia Fire Department said in a media release earlier this month.

Previously, investigators said several bales of straw inside the nativity scene were lit on fire.

Additional details were not released.