Man accused in church fire to spend next 7 years behind bars

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The man accused of setting fire to a church in Rio Rancho will be locked up for the next seven years because he can’t seem to stay out of trouble.

Gordon Schuler, 23, is accused of setting fire to Peace Lutheran Church in Rio Rancho in July.

Schuler admitted in court Wednesday that he violated that probation, and prosecutors and detectives asked that he be sent to prison for the time he would have served, had the judge not suspended his sentence.

“I have dealt with Mr. Schuler on at least 10 cases from fraud to larceny to commercial burglary, I believe that Mr. Schuler is a danger to the community,” Detective Greg Herrera said.

Schuler didn’t put up a fight, he agreed to go back to jail until May 2025.

He’s still awaiting trial for the church break-in and arson. Those are federal charges.

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