Trial set for well known pastor accused of torching her own house
BATON ROUGE- A well known pastor accused of burning her house down near Zachary will go to trial this summer.
Bridget Steib's case has been pending in the 19th Judicial District Court for almost four years. Investigators say Steib and her sister were caught on her home's surveillance cameras setting the house on fire. According to investigators, the insurance policy on the mansion had just increased before the fire.
Steib is the pastor of the Ministry of Love Church. Two women pulled up at the house while we were filming. They declined to say anything about the arson, and one covered their face as they backed up and entered the gates of the home.
"Certainly we stand behind our investigation," Deputy Chief for the State Fire Marshal, Brant Thompson said. "We believe it was a sound investigation. We believe the evidence is very strong in this case."
Thompson referred all questions about this case to the District Attorney's Office. However, he did say when people get convicted of arson, their names are entered into a database that helps authorities track offenders. Law enforcement across the state can access it, and already there are 200 plus names in the system that just got up and running a few years ago.
"We track all of the convicted arsonists across the state," Thompson said. "We keep up with their whereabouts. If there's a suspicious fire in a given area, we research the database to find out what arsonists might live in that area."
But, with Steib and her sister's case still pending, that evidence that the state called strong hasn't led to a trial yet, or their names being entered into a database to track offenders.
Steib is facing arson charges with intent to defraud. Her sister is facing an arson charge. Steib has court appearances in June and is scheduled to go to trial in August.