DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- A Des Moines man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for setting a fire that destroyed a church last year.
Loras ``Pete'' Fisher was sentenced Friday in Polk County District Court.
He asked the judge to be placed on probation, but the judge said the act was too serious.
Fisher was convicted in April of second-degree arson and third-degree burglary in the October 1997 fire at Community Missionary Baptist Church.
In a letter to Judge Glenn Pille, church members wrote: `` We believe the person should be held responsible for his actions.''
Investigators say the fire started in a stack of church books that had been doused with a flammable liquid.
Fisher was held for police the night of the fire by a man in the neighborhood who said he saw Fisher walking away from the church.
Fisher said he did not get a fair trial as defense attorneys questioned the credibility of the witness, Tony Ray Young.
Attorneys suggest that Young, who has a criminal record, may have started the fire. Jurors disagreed.