The trial of a pastor accused of burning down his church has been delayed.
The trial of Quincy Arnold, former pastor of New Life Deliverance Church, was set to begin on Monday, Oct. 4. The trial was delayed after Arnold requested his son, and co-defendant, Maurice Arnold undergo a mental evaluation.
Quincy Arnold, Maurice Arnold and Bruce Edward Smith were arrested in early 2009 and charged with a range of offenses including first-degree arson, conspiracy to commit arson, vandalizing a place of worship and insurance fraud in connection with a 2005 fire at New Life Deliverance Church.
Authorities believe Quincy Arnold enlisted the aid of his son and Smith in a scheme to burn down the church in order to collect insurance proceeds.
Maurice Arnold and Smith entered guilty pleas this past June in Barrow County Superior Court.
Smith pled guilty to first degree arson and was sentenced to two years in jail to be suspended upon the successful completion of intensive probation. The remainder of his 15 year sentence will be served on probation. Smith was also fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $258,599 in restitution to Guide One Insurance.
Maurice Arnold was scheduled to be sentenced on August 25, but his sentencing was delayed after his attorney, Adrian Patrick, asked for a mental evaluation to determine his client’s mental competency.
In his motion to the court, Patrick said Maurice Arnold immediately asked to go to trial after entering his guilty plea in June. Patrick claims Arnold has no recollection of what happened and that Arnold’s parents have said he is “literally crazy and does not know what he is doing.”
Quincy Arnold wrote Superior Court judge Currie Mingledorff to express his belief that his son needed psychological help.
On Sept. 14, Maurice Arnold’s attorney filed paperwork asking to withdraw his client’s guilty plea. The ruling on that request, as well as Quincy Arnold’s trial, have been delayed until Maurice Arnold’s mental evaluation is complete.