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Associated Press, Published August 04 2011

Charges: Ex-custodian started Minnesota church fire

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. — A Grand Rapids man is charged with setting a fire at a northern Minnesota church where he was once custodian.

Sixty-six-year-old Robert Evans Shepard was charged Thursday in Itasca County with first-degree arson, a felony.

Shepard is accused of setting a fire inside the Grand Rapids United Methodist Church on July 27. Damage is estimated at $50,000.

Shepard was released from jail and is scheduled back in court Monday. Reached at his home Thursday, Shepard said he had no comment.

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