Saint John's Church in Arroyo Grande getting burned cross back

A cross that was stolen and used in a hate crime last year will be returned to Saint John’s Lutheran Church in Arroyo Grande today, according to a news release from the Arroyo Grande Police Department.

The cross was stolen from church grounds in early 2011 and set alight on March 18, 2011, near the residence of a 19-year-old African-American woman.

The four suspects in the case — Jason Khan, William Soto, Sara Matheny and Jeremiah Hernandez — were convicted and received sentences ranging from 5 to 12 years in prison.

Saint John’s officials said they hope to use the remains of the cross, which will formally be returned by the Arroyo Grande Police Department this morning at 11, in a display.