W.T. Greene, charged with burning a church near Rogue River on the night of December 9, was given a preliminary hearing before Judge Taylor yesterday afternoon. A number of witnesses testified that Greene, prior to the burning of the church, had complained of the church being a detriment to his land which adjoins the church property.
One witness testified that Greene had given them oral notice to move it in 30 days or the church be blown up. To others he stated that a couple of matches would fix it.
On the night of the fire, Greene was the first person to arouse the neighborhood and his conduct and statements made by him after the fire immediately directed suspicion to him.
He appeared as a witness on his own behalf and his statement of his whereabouts when cross-examined by the prosecuting attorney were decidedly mixed and confusing. Greene claimed he retired about 9 o'clock on the night of the fire and was awakened some time after 11 by a loud noise, and upon looking out he saw the church in flames.
Dan Wilson and his wife, who run a confectionery store in Rogue River two miles from the fire, testified that Greene left their store about 10 o'clock on the night of the fire and that he was considerably under the influence of liquor.
At the conclusion of the hearing, Justice Taylor dismissed the case against Greene. The prosecuting attorney immediately prepared another complaint against Greene upon the same charges, bringing the action before the justice at Rogue River, and the case will be heard there next Monday.
Greene is now on a bond to keep the peace for threatening to shoot a Rogue River citizen.
The prosecuting attorney also threatens to bring a charge of perjury against Greene and declares that he is determined that Greene shall not be given another opportunity to put any of his various threats into action.