VACAVILLE (CBS13) — A Vacaville pastor accused of having his ex-girlfriend’s home firebombed entered a surprise plea on Thursday.
Fellowship Baptist Church Pastor Mark Lewis pleaded no contest to arson and stalking charges just one day into his trial. Lewis is expected to be sentenced to eight years in prison.READ MORE: Folsom Ice Rink Opens After Three Week Delay Due To Vandals
The pastor, along with three others, are accused of conspiring to firebomb his ex-girlfriend’s home on Chateau Circle with a Molotov cocktail in January 2014. Police said six people, including three children, were asleep in the home at the time of the attack.
Investigators say Sarah Nottingham had an active restraining order against Lewis who was also a suspect in four other incidents of harassment and vandalism against the victim since Christmas in 2013. One of those incidents includes bushes in front of the victim’s home being set on fire.READ MORE: Sacramento Kings Rout Shorthanded Clippers 124-115
“I’m living in a nightmare,” she said in a 2014 interview. “My kids are so scared. My son knows that this is his previous pastor that is threatening his mommy and his family.”
Two weeks after the alleged attack, he was back in jail, accused of identity theft of a church he used as collateral. Investigators said he used his church as collateral to get out of jail, but on closer inspection, they found the information on the church paperwork wasn’t his to give.
Most churches are either a nonprofit or a corporation, but Vacaville Police say the Fellowship Baptist Church was neither.MORE NEWS: Folsom Ice Skating Rink Reopens After Weeks Of Delays
Members of the Vacaville congregation sold off pieces from the church in a fundraiser for their pastor’s bail.