Guilty pleas entered in Felton church arsons

DOVER – Two Kent County men are facing up to 29 years in prison after pleading guilty Monday morning in a felony arson case involving three rural churches that burned in the Felton area last December.

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Alex J. Harrington Jr., left, and Joseph T. Skochelak pleaded guilty to arson-related charges on Monday.

Co-defendants Joseph T. Skochelak, 26, of Felton, and Alex J. Harrington Jr., 27, of Frederica, each pleaded to three counts of second-degree arson, second-degree conspiracy, and third-degree burglary in Kent County Superior Court.

A pre-sentence investigation was ordered by Judge William L. Witham Jr., and sentencing scheduled for June 23.

The case revolved around three overnight fires on Dec. 2 at Healing Hands Christian Church in the 500 block of Berrytown Road, Laws Mennonite Church on Carpenter Bridge Road, and Manship Chapel in the 4900 block of Burnite Mill Road. Also involved was a burglary at St. James Union AME Church in the 4000 block of Andrews Lake Road.

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