Preliminary exam waived in Divine Child Church arson case

By ZEINAB NAJM
Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — David Cerne, 43, voluntarily waived his right to a preliminary examination during his court appearance in front of 19th District Court Judge Sam Salamey on Sept. 8.

The case will now be bond over to Wayne County Circuit Court where an arraignment on the information is scheduled for 9 a.m. Sept. 15.

Cerne is accused of exploding a commercial grade firework in Divine Child Church on Aug. 23.

He was arraigned on Aug. 31 by 19th District Court Judge Mark Somers on felony and misdemeanor charges.

For the felony third degree arson there is a maximum 10-year prison sentence and a $20,000 fine or fine of three times the damaged property value, whichever is more.

The arson preparation to burn real property felony has a five-prison sentence.

The misdemeanor, malicious destruction of personal property under $200 for damaging a Bible comes with 93 days in jail or $500 fine or fine of three times the damaged property value, which ever is more.

No plea was accepted from Cerne because of the felony charges and a $100,000 cash or surety bond. Cerne will have to wear a GPS tether if bond is posted.

Security camera footage from the church shows a man walking into the chapel while prayer was taking place, and throwing an explosive into the chapel. The device exploded, burning a Bible and damaging walls and floors, but no parishioners were injured, police said.

When Cerne was identified and a search warrant was issued, officers learned he was already in custody in Inkster for a similar charge.

Cerne also is facing three arson preparation to burn real property charges in a second case for allegedly attempting to start a fire at House of Beverage, 23900 Cherry Hill Road.

He will continue his one year probation on the second case which also comes with a $100,000 cash or surety bond and GPS tether if bond is posted.

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at zeinabnajm92@gmail.com)