Arrest made in church arson and vandalism case

By Phil Pendleton  | 

Police say 19-year-old Coleman Miller left a lot of marks inside a Russell County church that he is accused of breaking into and vandalizing, and maybe even some marks he didn’t quite intend on leaving.

Along with burned Bibles and spray painted symbols, Miller’s shoes may have left a really good impression on the church floor.

“From some of the damage done inside the church, they were able to take a really good print, from what I was told. Kind of like the Cinderella story, they went looking for shoes,” said Allen Gosser, who attends Coffey Hill Friendship Church.

Yet, there’s no fairy tale ending for Miller. He’s now in jail on a $100,000 bond accused of arson and theft. But the church has a message for him.

“Just to let him know, no hard feelings. We as a church, as a community, we love you, we forgive you,” said Gosser.

Coleman Miller didn’t want to talk to reporters from inside the Russell County Detention Center, but apparently police do have some kind of a confession from him. But as to what motivation he had for the alleged act, that isn’t clear.

“He was more or less having a bad day, and he decided to take a walk, this is where he ended up,” said Gosser.

The arrest came after a 24 hour prayer vigil for the suspect. They do forgive him but they realize justice must still be done.

“We as Christians have to do our part, and that true love, is our part. The laws of the land, it has a part as well,” said Gosser.

Because the ATF and FBI investigated the church fire, it’s possible Miller could face federal charges as well.

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