Rev. Don Armstrong Indicted For Theft

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A Colorado Springs reverend turns himself in after a grand jury indicts him for twenty counts of felony theft.

Father Donald Armstrong is the former leader of Grace & Saint Stephens Episcopal Church.

The Colorado Springs grand jury decided this week that there is enough evidence against Armstrong to indict him.

"People want to trust their rector and they want to believe that their rector is honest," said Clelia deMoraes who is a parishioner at Grace & Saint Stephens Episcopal Church. But truthful, Armstrong may not have been during his twenty year tenure.

Armstrong is accused of financial misconduct and the charges against him have already been heard once. "It's been through an ecclesiastical process within the Episcopal Church and he was convicted by an ecclesiastical court and the recommended action there was to be defrocked as an Episcopal priest," said Chuck Theobald who is a Vestry Member.

Yet, Armstrong is the Rector in charge at another Colorado Springs church.

Armstrong left Grace Episcopal in 2007 and took dozens of members with him. When Armstrong and some parishioners broke away from the church, that sparked a battle over ownership of the church building itself. A judge ruled earlier this year the church belongs to the Episcopal Diocese.

Since then, the Colorado Springs Police Department had been doing an investigation of their own.

"Two years is a long time to wait," said deMoraes.

"I think that everybody is looking for justice in this situation," said Theobald.

After all, the church believes Armstrong got away with roughly $400,000 over the course of fifteen years. "I think restitution would be great," said deMoraes.

And forgiven, Armstrong has already been, by members he allegedly stole money from. "That's what Christians do. They're very big on forgiveness and I think that's what we're called on to do," said deMoraes.

Armstrong turned himself into police on Thursday, but he is out on bond.



 
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