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.