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Dana Point

November 17, 2000|Alex Murashko, (714) 966-5974

An Indiana man was sentenced to more than 42 years in federal prison for setting a series of church fires, including one that destroyed a section of South Shore American Baptist Church in Dana Point in 1995, U.S. Attorney Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced Thursday.

Jay Scott Ballinger, 38, of Yorktown, Ind., pleaded guilty in federal court in Indianapolis this month to setting the Dana Point fire and 25 other church fires across the nation during a five-year spree ending last year.

Ballinger, who called himself a missionary of Lucifer, was sentenced in federal court Tuesday. He was also ordered to pay $3.5 million in restitution, Mayorkas said.

On Sept. 25, 1995, it took 40 firefighters about 50 minutes to control the Dana Point fire, which charred Sunday school classrooms, offices and a kitchen, causing an estimated $300,000 in damage.

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