NewsLocal News


KCMO man sentenced to 5 years for 2020 church arson

Posted at 4:43 PM, Oct 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-04 17:43:23-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City, Missouri, man was sentenced in federal court Monday to over five years in prison for setting a church on fire in 2020.

Christopher A. Durant, 39, was sentenced to 63 months without parole, and he was ordered to pay $143,429 in restitution to the church, insurance company and building owner for the damage he caused, according to a U.S. Department of Justice release.

The incident occurred on Aug. 26, 2020, and Durant was seen on surveillance footage throwing chunks of asphalt at the Beyond Thee Four Walls Ministries building at around 1 a.m.

The footage showed Durant then lit an unknown object and a piece of paper on fire and placed them in the front door mail slot. He also lit another unknown object and placed it in the front window he broke with the asphalt.

"At about 1:30 a.m. Durant returned to the church, lighting a piece of paper and placing it through the front window," the release said. "Approximately two minutes later, Durant walked up to the front window with an object in his hand and leaned in through the broken window, which was then followed by a large flash consistent with the introduction and subsequent ignition of an ignitable liquid."

The Kansas City, Missouri, Fire Department was dispatched to the church around 3:25 a.m., and firefighters found heavy fire inside the church's one-story building.

Durant was seen walking by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents and arrested a day later.

Durant pleaded guilty to arson in April.

The case was investigated by the ATF; Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department and KCFD's Fire Investigation Unit.