Man Faces Up To 4 Years In Prison For Theft Of 153-Year-Old Bible

ADRIAN (WWJ/AP) – A man who admitted to stealing a 153-year-old Bible from a southeast Michigan temple and burning it faces up to four years in prison when he’s sentenced.

Ronald Huskins II of Palmyra Township pleaded guilty Wednesday to a felony larceny charge. Huskins, 22, originally faced charges of arson of personal property $200 or more but less than $1,000, breaking and entering with intent, and larceny in a building. He’s due back in Lenawee County Circuit Court for sentencing on April 18.

The large Bible and ceremonial ornaments were taken during a July 20, 2011 burglary at the Palmyra Masonic Temple, about 55 miles southwest of Detroit.

A Masonic Temple official has said that the Bible was used at each monthly meeting and ceremony of the Palmyra Masons since its 1866 charter. The Bible, which is believed to have been printed in 1859, was once appraised at $500, but is considered irreplaceable to the Palmyra Masons.

Huskins allegedly told investigators the Bible was placed in an old refrigerator and burned. He didn’t discuss a motive.

“He wouldn’t tell us any information on where that might have happened,” Lenawee County Sheriff Jack Welsh told The Daily Telegram of Adrian. “It’s crazy, especially for no particular reason to steal it and just burn it. Maybe they should have read it first.”

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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