POMONA (CBSLA.com) — A Hacienda Heights man convicted of setting fire to a local Catholic church was sentenced to prison and ordered to pay damages Friday, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office.
Gregory Yusuke Shiga, 35, received a sentence of 18 years to life and was ordered to pay $8.9 million in restitution for the arson fire he set in the sanctuary of St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Hacienda Heights.
Prosecutors said Shiga broke into the church’s sanctuary just after midnight the night of April 16, 2011 and planted rolls of toilet paper soaked in flammable material around its interior. He is also said to have used a device to saturate the structure’s walls and ceiling with a fire accelerant.
On July 9, a jury convicted Shiga of multiple counts of arson, including aggravated arson and arson of an inhabited structure, as well as second-degree commercial burglary and possession of flammable material.