Man accused of setting fire to Greek Orthodox church in Rancho San Diego pleads guilty

EL CAJON, Calif. - A man who set fire to a Greek Orthodox church in Rancho San Diego and attacked a cellmate four days after his arrest pleaded guilty Monday to arson and assault with intent to commit mayhem.

Pursuant to his plea and following a full evaluation by mental health professionals, attorneys on both sides agreed that Darin Wayne Williams was legally insane at the time of both offenses.

Williams, 39, will be sent to a state mental hospital for up to seven years and four months, with possible two-year extensions after that for the rest of his life, Deputy District Attorney David Williams III said.

Formal sentencing was set for Nov. 19 in El Cajon.

Williams was arrested Jan. 27 within hours of a fire that caused about $250,000 in damage to Saint Gregory of Nyssa Greek Orthodox Church in the 1900 block of Maryann Way at Jamacha Road.

No one was injured in the 4 a.m. blaze, which was investigated by the sheriff's Bomb/Arson Unit and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The defendant was known to church officials before the fire, the prosecutor said.

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