LIMA — Whatever Hager Church told investigators about his alleged involvement in a fire that killed two people can go before a jury at his trial, a judge ruled. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against him.
Judge Jeffrey Reed ruled statements Church made to a police detective, which were recorded on DVD, will be allowed into evidence. Church spoke twice to Lima Police Det. Steve Stechschulte.
Church is charged with two counts of aggravated murder with a death penalty specification and one count of aggravated arson over the June 14, 2009, house fire that killed Massie “Tina” Flint, 45, and her boyfriend, Rex Hall, 54. The fire was at a home at 262 S. Pine St.
Church became a suspect after he told an inmate about the fire. Eventually he told investigators.
Church is already serving a life sentence with no chance for parole for the Aug. 16, 2010, beating death of Debra Henderson in her home at 619 Woodward Ave. He killed Henderson over a few dollars and costume jewelry.