James Robert MacPherson III (Source: Cherokee County)
CHEROKEE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) -
Two members of the Church of Wells in Cherokee County were given a jail sentence on Monday for a criminal trespassing charge.
Matthew DeRouville, 27, and James Robert MacPherson III, 29, were sentenced to 90 days in jail and a $2,000 fine during their bench trial, Monday.
A clause in the judge's ruling stated that if the fine was paid within 14 days then their sentence would be reduced to 45 days. Both DeRouville and MacPherson were confined on Tuesday, June 27. Both paid their fines and will remain in the Cherokee County Jail for 45 days.
According to the Cherokee County Attorney's office, DeRouville and MacPherson walked into an Alto auto parts store on December 28, 2015. They were reportedly asked to leave repeatedly and refused.
This is not the first time, the controversial church has been in the spotlight for harassment. In June of 2015, six members of the group were arrested for criminal trespass after a heckling incident at Pastor Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston.
In April of 2014 during the city of Wells annual homecoming celebration, church members yelled at children, telling them they were going to hell.
On January 31, 2015, Jacob Gardner, an elder of the church, was arrested on misdemeanor criminal trespass and resisting arrest charges for allegedly causing a disturbance at Sabine High School.
Back in May 2015, members of the church were placed in handcuffs during a demonstration on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus. Campus police said church members were on the property making vulgar comments to female students. SFA requires any group holding an organized demonstration to have the proper permit, the Church of Wells members had no such permit.