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Report: Killer tried to burn down slain priest's home

Gary Lee Bullock is led by law enforcement officers into a car in Eureka, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. Nick Adams, AP

GRANTS PASS, Ore.– The man charged in the beating death of a Northern California priest may have also tried to burn down the rectory where the body was found, an affidavit containing police statements revealed Wednesday.

Accused of murdering Rev. Eric Freed with a wooden stake and a metal gutter pipe, Gary Lee Bullock also allegedly turned on the gas from the rectory stove and left a lit cigar at the priest's home.

However, the attempt failed as the cigar went out before it could do any damage.

Freed was found dead in the rectory on New Year’s Day by a fellow priest after his absence was noticed at the St. Bernard Catholic Church’s morning Mass in Eureka, Ore.

The Reverend's body had been wrapped in liquor-dampened bedclothes, according to the affidavit issued in support of Bullock’s arrest warrant.

Bullock, 44, is charged with murder, arson and torture, among other counts. He has pleaded not guilty.

  • Crimesider Staff

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