Fire damaged South Bend United Methodist Church on Oct. 16, 2013. (Photo: Chris Ross, THV11)
SOUTH BEND, Ark. (KTHV) - On Wednesday, Oct. 16 around 7 a.m., the South Bend Sherriff's Office received a report of a fire at the South Bend United Methodist Church, and interviews with witnesses revealed the fire may have been ignited intentionally.
The church is located at the corner of John Shelton Road and Highway #294. The South Bend Fire Department responded as well as Investigator Matt Edwards and Sheriff John Staley.
Further investigation led to an interview with a 16 year old male juvenile who resides in the area. Investigators learned Cabot Police earlier had initiated a traffic stop in Cabot on 19 year old Joseph Charles Yarberry and three juveniles when Yarberry's vehicle ran out of gas.
The 16 year old juvenile who was interviewed had just been released by the Cabot Police Department. Investigators from the Sheriff's Office conducted an interview with Yarberry and the three juveniles which resulted in the arrest of Yarberry for the offenses of Arson, Commerical burglary, and Theft of property. Initial investigation revealed Yarberry had broken out a window in the church, stole a DVD player and other electronic equipment then set fire to the church.
A search warrant was obtained and executed for Yarberry's vehicle which had been impounded by Cabot Police at which time the property taken from the church was located and recovered. Yarberry is being held at the Lonoke County Detention Facility with no bond. The case file will be forwarded to the Prosecutor's Office to determine if criminal charges will be filed against the juveniles. The juveniles are aged 14, 16, and 17 years old.