Rancho SD Greek Orthodox church arsonist to be sentenced - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Rancho SD Greek Orthodox church arsonist to be sentenced

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EL CAJON (CNS) - A man who set fire to a church in Rancho San Diego and attacked a cellmate four days after his arrest was ordered Tuesday to spend seven years and four months in a state mental hospital.

Darin Wayne Williams, 39, pleaded guilty last month to arson and assault with intent to commit mayhem.

Following a full evaluation by two court-appointed doctors, attorneys on both sides agreed that Williams was legally insane at the time of both offenses.

On Tuesday, Judge John Thompson ordered that Williams be committed to Patton State Hospital for the seven-year-plus term.

While there, Williams will "receive treatment for a major mental illness and the public will remain protected," said Deputy District Attorney David Williams III, who is no relation to the defendant.

If, after seven years and four months at the hospital, doctors determine the defendant still poses a threat to the community, he could stay there for two-year extensions for the rest of his life, according to the prosecutor.

The defendant was arrested Jan. 27 within hours of a fire that caused about $250,000 in damage to Saint Gregory of Nyssa Green Orthodox Church in the 1900 block of Maryann Way at Jamacha Road.

No one was injured in the 4 a.m. blaze, which was investigated by the sheriff's Bomb/Arson Unit and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The defendant was known to church officials before the fire. The Rev.

Simeon Corona, a Greek Orthodox priest, told reporters that Williams had been in psychiatric hospitals before and was released from one shortly before he set the fire.

Williams had been renting a room from a church parishioner and became upset after he was told he could no longer stay there unless he took his medication, according to the priest.

His motive for attacking his cellmate was unclear.

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