A Galveston man convicted of setting an island church on fire in 2015 was sent to prison Thursday after violating the terms of a plea deal, according to court records.

Judge Kerry Neves, of the 10th District Court, sentenced Jeremy Gwinn, 22, of Galveston, to five years in prison, according to court records.

Gwinn in 2017 pleaded guilty to setting fire to Westminster Presbyterian Church, 5127 Ave. U, in December 2015. The fire destroyed the church's sanctuary, and destroyed bibles, musical instruments and boxes of donated Christmas toys and food.

At the time, he was sentenced to 10 years deferred adjudication. 

Since he was sentenced, Gwinn has been arrested twice more, for possession of marijuana and for burglary of a vehicle, according to court records.

The order sentencing Gwinn to prison noted those arrests, as well as instances of him testing positive for marijuana and failing to pay court fees required as part of his plea deal.

Gwinn was in custody at the Galveston County Jail on Thursday, according to jail records. 

The congregation of Westminster Presbyterian Church rebuilt its sanctuary and reopened it in 2016.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; or on Twitter @johnwferguson.


(4) comments

Bailey Jones

How does setting fire to a church, to the tune of $500,000, not merit jail time in the first place?

Dalton Logan

If his original sentence was for 10 years, why is he now just sentenced for 5 years?

Blanca Bell

Lock him up and throw away the key!!!

Rusty Schroeder

That's a man ? Looks like Ellen Degeneres.

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