SALT LAKE CITY — Arson and burglary charges were filed against a Salt Lake City man who told police he set fires in two separate churches because he "believed the LDS Church had lied to him."
According to documents filed in 3rd District Court on Thursday, Patrick Ehat, 26, spread some kind of "ignitable liquid accelerant" on the sacrament table, podium, organ and piano in the chapel of an LDS Church building at 3219 S. 300 East, in South Salt Lake, early on Oct. 30. Later that same day, a second fire was discovered at another LDS Church building, located at 2702 S. Main, after a similar liquid was used to ignite the fire on a couch inside.
Ehat, a member of the LDS faith, told police he entered the churches through the windows and set the fires intentionally, as court documents state.
He is being held in the Salt Lake County Jail on a $500,000, cash-only bail.
Court records indicate that Ehat has never faced criminal charges prior to Thursday. Following the incidents involving the fires, Ehat's parents issued a statement saying they couldn't begin to speculate about a motive, as Ehat had "limited his contact" with them in the recent months.
— Wendy Leonard