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Former church member charged with torching S. Georgia church

Investigators say he confessed to the crime.

ATLANTA--State and local fire investigators announced Thursday that a former member of a baptist church in Mitchell County has been charged with setting a fire that heavily damaged that church.

Kentrez Gardner, 37, of Norman Park, was arrested Wednesday in Dougherty County.

He was charged with one count of first-degree arson and one count of burglary in connection with a January 30 fire which gutted the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Camilla. Damage was estimated at more than $100,000.

A statement from the Georgia Insurance and Fire Commissioner's office said Gardner had given investigators "a full confession" to the burglary and arson.

Gardner is being held in the Mitchell County jail, pending a court appearance.

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