Church Arsonist in Vermont Is an Illegal Alien

By David North on December 2, 2013

An earlier blog of mine asked the question: Did an illegal alien try to burn down a church in Sen. Leahy's Vermont?

The damage to the church's steeple was not in question, nor was the identity of the arsonist (Aliaksandr Bychkou); the only question left by media coverage was his legal status.

It now turns out, according to the Burlington Free Press, that Bychkou, a native of Belarus, was in the country illegally, and that he and his spouse had filed for asylum status. Sam Hemingway, a Free Press reporter, was curious about Bychkou's immigration status, a variable that all too many mainstream journalists ignore.

More recently, the presiding state court judge, Michael Kupersmith, has done something unusual with the case, apparently reflecting a deep distrust of the federal immigration system. He discovered during a hearing that were Bychkou to be released on bail from the Vermont prison system he would go into federal custody. The Free Press reported:

Kupersmith said he decided to increase Bychkou's bail from $25,000 to $250,000 to assure Bychkou, 32, would remain in state custody, because he [the judge] had little confidence the federal government would make Bychkou easily available if he were in federal custody.

The judge has also ruled the suspect mentally competent to stand trial — something that had been in dispute earlier — so whatever the outcome of the asylum proceedings, some jail time is likely for one of the handful of illegals known to be resident in Vermont, home of the profoundly pro-amnesty chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

I am grateful to Professor David Stoll of Middlebury College for alerting me to recent developments in this case.