St. Clair County pastor dies one day before court appearance in arson case


PELL CITY, Ala. (WIAT) — A man who was one of three people charged with conspiring to burn down a building to collect the insurance money on it has died.

In a report by The Daily Home, Ricky Mitchell was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday on charges of first-degree insurance fraud, second-degree arson and second-degree conspiracy. After he did not show up for the hearing, Mitchell’s attorney, Tommy Spina, was informed that the 51-year pastor of Emmanuel Fellowship Church had passed away Monday at an undisclosed hospital in Birmingham.

No cause of death was reported in the Daily Home report, although Spina later told that the cause of death was a heart attack.

Mitchell, along with wife Angela Mitchell and Heather Whitten, was recently indicted by a grand jury for a fire that was set Jan. 12 at a building Mitchell owned in Riverside. Both Mitchells’ were arrested and posted bond of $25,000 each, subsequently being released.

Ms. Mitchell and Whitten are also facing arson charges and criminal conspiracy charges. Mitchell is also charged with insurance fraud.

Neither Spina, St. Clair County Sheriff Billy Murray or the St. Clair District Attorney’s Office could be reached for comment by CBS 42 Tuesday.

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