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Ex-Texas Preacher Gets 30 Years Over Wife Death

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File photo of a prison cell. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of a prison cell. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

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GATESVILLE, Texas (AP) — A former Central Texas minister has been sentenced to 30 years in prison in a plea deal over a 2011 mobile home fire that left his wife dead.

David Keith Allen of Gatesville pleaded guilty Wednesday to arson causing death.

The 51-year-old ex-leader of New Life Church of Restoration in Gatesville faced trial on a capital murder charge and possible life in prison if convicted. Prosecutors weren’t seeking the death penalty over the fire that claimed the life of 54-year-old Paula Allen.

Coryell County District Attorney Dustin Boyd says proving arson against Allen, who had a $250,000 insurance policy on his wife, would have been difficult.

Perjury charges against a woman Allen later married were dropped in his plea deal.

Allen must serve 15 years before he’s eligible for parole.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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