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Juvenile convicted in case of arson at Fruita church

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Posted at 11:05 AM, Mar 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-17 13:08:16-04

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — A juvenile was found guilty in connection with the April 26, 2021 arson that destroyed a church in Fruita.

The juvenile, who has not been identified, was accused of destroying the Fruita Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, located at 417 E. Ottley Avenue. He or she was convicted on all counts.

Officials said in April 2021 that the fire was intentionally set that morning. KJCT in Grand Junction reported that the church was deemed a total loss following the fire. A few days later, local and federal law enforcement officials said they were offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects involved.

21st Judicial District Attorney Dan Rubinstein said the recent conviction was a team effort.

Fruita Police Chief David Krouse said the fire had a "significant impact" on the community.

"We are grateful for the collaboration among our local and federal partners who dedicated an incredible amount of time and resources to the successful investigation of the case and prosecution of the responsible individual," Krouse said.