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Former Gatesville pastor jailed on $1M bond in wife’s death

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Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2012 12:00 pm

By Mason W. Canales

Killeen Daily Herald

GATESVILLE - A former pastor remains in Coryell County Jail on $1 million bail after more than a month of having no bond for a capital murder charge.

The 52nd District judge, Trent Farrell, presided over a bond hearing for David Allen, 49, who is suspected of killing his wife in a mobile home fire last year.

District Attorney David Castillo said the hearing was not uncommon in situations like Allen's.

"Most of the time if the bond has not been set, or even when the bond is set high, a defense attorney will ask for a bond hearing," said Castillo.

During Monday's hearing, five witnesses were called to testify, including a fire investigator and a detective.

"The judge made his decision, and I feel it was appropriate," said Castillo. "I asked for the bond to be set at a million, and the defense asked for the bond to be set between $100,000 and $200,000."

When Coryell County sheriff's deputies arrested Allen in January, Allen was arraigned, but bail was not set.

Allen's attorney, Anthony Odiorne of the Lubbock-based West Texas Regional Public Defender Office for Capital Cases, filed to have the bond hearing to create a bail for the accused.

Allen's wife, Paula Allen, 54, died of thermal burns and smoke inhalation in a blaze that fire marshals determined started in the living room of the couple's home on March 22 in the 4000 block of East U.S. Highway 84, according to a fire investigation report.

Allen, the former pastor of New Life Church of Restoration, was indicted Jan. 31 and is accused of using an open flame and an accelerant to ignite the blaze. Allen could face the death penalty if convicted of capital murder.

Contact Mason W. Canales at mcanales@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7474.

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