Man accused of trying to torch NYC church pleads not guilty

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NEW YORK (AP) — A New Jersey college philosophy teacher has pleaded not guilty to trying to set fire to Manhattan's St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Marc Lamparello was arraigned Friday in Manhattan Criminal Court. His attorney argued the 37-year-old suffers from mental illness.

Prosecutors say Lamparello brought gasoline cans and lighters into the cathedral on April 17. A church employee stopped him.

Lamparello told police he wanted to get to his vehicle and that it had run out of gas.

Attorney Chris DiLorenzo told the court that his client was not planning a terrorist act. The case will be back in court on June 27 for a psychiatric expert's report.

Lamparello has been charged with attempted arson and reckless endangerment. He's being held without bail.


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