News and Press Releases


April 12, 2010


KANSAS CITY, KAN. – A former pastor has been sentenced to three years probation for lying to federal agents who investigated an arson at the Sunflower Missionary Baptist Church in Leavenworth, Kan., U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch said today.

Marvin Clay, 39, Leavenworth, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of misprision of a felony. In his plea, he admitted that when he was interviewed by federal agents investigating an Oct. 31, 2008, fire at Sunflower Missionary Baptist Church, he concealed the fact he knew co-defendant Carva Lee White had set the fire.

Clay admitted that about a week before the fire, White described how he intended to start a fire at the church. Because the church had fire insurance, White told Clay, they could profit by finding a contractor who would inflate repair bids and pay them kickbacks.

On Nov. 1, 2008, Clay told agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that he didn’t know who set the fire.

Last month, co-defendant Carva Lee White was sentenced to 150 months in federal prison.

Welch commended the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office, the Leavenworth Kansas Police and Fire Departments, the Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Department and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marietta Parker and David Smith for their work on the case.