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People accused of torching Valley City church plead guilty

VALLEY CITY, N.D. (AP) -- Two people accused of torching a Valley City church to cover up a break-in have pleaded guilty.

Andrew Miklas, of Fargo, and Nicole Lindermann, of Kathryn, entered their pleas Monday. They were charged with burglarizing Faith Lutheran Church on Oct. 6.

Barnes County State's Attorney Carl Martineck says Lindermann told authorities that Miklas broke into the church and stole cash and three bottles of wine. He later returned to the church with a can filled with paint thinner and started three separate fires.

The station reports that Miklas is in custody at the Barnes County jail. Lindermann is out on bond.

The fire caused an estimated $2.5 million in damage to Faith Lutheran Church. The 800-member congregation has decided to build a new church at the same spot.