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June 27, 2014

Teens charged with arson in burning of church building

Two men have been arrested for arson in connection with a fire that destroyed a historic church building in Beaverdale.

The Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office arrested Jacob Dylan Plott, 18, of 1550 River Road Cutoff, Dalton, on Thursday. He is charged with two counts of arson. Forrest Allen Jones, 19, of 3330 Crider Road, Rocky Face, was arrested on one count of arson Friday afternoon. Jones remained in jail early Friday evening. Plott was released on his own recognizance, a jail official said.

The two are charged in connection with fires at a building at Beaverdale Baptist Church at 2496 Beaverdale Road. The structure, which was built before 1900, was the original church building but was being used for storage at the time of the fires.

The building was set on fire during the early morning hours of March 21, Sheriff Scott Chitwood said in a press release. “The Whitfield County Fire Department responded and extinguished the fire,” he said. “The fire caused extensive damage to the building.”

On April 16 at approximately 11:15 p.m. the 911 Center received a call that the building was on fire again. The fire department again responded, but this time the structure was a total loss.

Sheriff’s Office Capt. Rick Swiney said an investigation led to Plott, who lived near the church, and to Jones.

“They didn’t give a reason, and we don’t believe there was a reason other than that alcohol played a part in their decision,” Swiney said.

Officials with the church could not be reached Friday afternoon.


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