A man accused of first-degree arson in the Sept. 16 fire in Waynesboro that destroyed one of Georgia’s oldest black churches was denied bond Friday.
Palmer Crumbley, 69, has been held without bond since his arrest the morning of the fire when law enforcement officers found him inside the Haven Munnerlyn United Methodist Church on Barron Street. Crumbley appeared for a bond hearing in Burke County Superior Court. According to his defense attorney, Kevin Davis, Crumbley is homeless and may have mental health issues.
Crumbley told Senior Judge Albert M. Pickett that he came to Waynesboro last year when his father died. His siblings have taken over his father’s house and won’t let him stay there.
Loretta Brinson, the church’s executive secretary, told the judge that the fire wasn’t the first. Within the past nine months, there was another fire and Crumbley was seen running from the church. The church, which is on the historic register, was not insured, she said.
It was founded by slaves in 1866.
The state fire marshal is still investigating the fire. Crumbley will remain on jail awaiting possible indictment and trial.
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