News Releases

July 19, 2013: Man Sentenced for Hacienda Heights Church Arson, Ordered to Pay Restitution

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Jane Robison, Assistant Media Chief
(213) 257-2000

A 35-year-old man convicted of torching St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Hacienda Heights two years ago was sentenced to prison today and ordered to pay $8.9 million in restitution, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Renee Rose of the Target Crimes Division, Arson Section, said Gregory Yusuke Shiga, of Hacienda Heights, was sentenced to 18 years to life in prison.

Judge Thomas Falls also ordered him to pay restitution for the arson fire that he started in the church’s sanctuary just after midnight on April 16, 2011.

Rose said Shiga saturated rolls of toilet paper with a flammable material and placed them around the inside of the church after he broke into the sanctuary. He also used a device to saturate the structure’s walls and ceiling with an accelerant.

A jury on July 9 found Shiga guilty of aggravated arson, arson of a structure, arson of an inhabited structure, possession of flammable material and second-degree commercial burglary.