Former Vacaville Pastor’s Partner In Firebombing Returns to Court
A Sacramento resident charged with firebombing a Vacaville woman’s home in a plot engineered by the ex-boyfriend she had dumped, a former Baptist minister, appeared in court briefly on February 4.
Anthony Newbolt, 33, made a brief appearance in Solano County Superior Court at which a sentencing date was postponed. Newbolt had previously made a deal with prosecutors in the arson case involving the former minister of Fellowship Baptist Church and two other accomplices, who are Sacramento residents.
Prosecutors had expected Newbolt to testify in the trial of Mark W. Lewis last month, but the trial came to a sudden end when the former pastor/firebombing mastermind pleaded no contest to arson and stalking charges.
The case stemmed from the Jan. 9, 2014 firebombing of a home on Chateau Circle in Vacaville, where Lewis’ ex-girlfriend lived with several of her family members. Early that morning, someone tossed a Molotov cocktail, consisting of a Snapple bottle filled with a flammable liquid and a rag wick, that had been lit on fire hurled through a window of the home. No one was injured.
Minutes later, a Vacaville police officer stopped the U-Haul truck in which Newbolt was riding with co-defendants Richard Wright, 28, and Kristen Broyles, 30, of Citrus Heights. During a later interview with police investigators, Newbolt said that Lewis had driven him to the neighborhood on two separate occasions to scout it out, and added he knew it was the home of a woman Lewis was having problems with.
Perhaps when Lewis assembled the team, he enlisted Newbolt because he was aware of his past history as a criminal. Newbolt was arrested back in January of 2006 for grand theft and conspiracy, and later for marijuana transportation and sales. Since then, records show several arrests for unspecified probation violations, and post-release supervision “flash incarcerations”, when a supervised parolee is found to be in violation of the terms.
In November, Kristen Broyles was sentenced to 16 months behind bars following an earlier no-contest plea to being an accessory after the fact to arson. Richard Wright, who has pleaded not guilty to charges of arson of an inhabited structure and possession of flammable or explosive material, will have a jury trial that will begin March 17.
A sentencing date for Newbolt was set for March 30.