"The other nine church fires he says are a blur."
" 'I was kind of in a daze. Doing it almost like robotically with no fore thought to anything'."
"Bourque, like his family has said in the past, blames Chantix on his behavior. He says the anti-smoking drug was mixed with his depression medication Prozac put him in a dream like state."
"At first I wasn't sure whether any of it had really happened or if it had been a dream because I had had several dreams where similar things had happened."http://www.cbs19.tv/Global/story.asp?S=14022544
Exclusive: Jason Bourque Speaks Out About Church Fires
By Michele Reese
TYLER(KYTX) – During the church fire investigation, Jason Bourque never opened up to investigators about how he set the fires, why he did, or what he was thinking. But Sunday from the Smith County Jail, he spent 30 minutes on the phone with CBS 19's Michele Reese to tell us his side of the story. It's the first time he has talked about the fires since his final sentencing.
"I know for a fact the first one at Little Hope Baptist Church, nothing was stacked," he said about how the fire was built. "I remember starting a Christmas tree on fire there. I remember it so well because it was a Christmas tree it was kind of different," Bourque said.
It was the first church Jason Bourque set on fire, and it's the only one he has a clear memory of setting.
The other nine church fires he says are a blur.
"I was kind of in a daze. Doing it almost like robotically with no fore thought to anything."
Bourque, like his family has said in the past, blames Chantix on his behavior. He says the anti-smoking drug was mixed with his depression medication Prozac put him in a dream like state.
"At first I wasn't sure whether any of it had really happened or if it had been a dream because I had had several dreams where similar things had happened."
But by the end of January 2009, after 7 churches had burned, he says he started thinking the fires were real.
"That's when I started looking on the Internet trying to sort out what was real and what wasn't," he said. "That's the reason why I have the Internet searches about it."
But in February, he set three more churches on fire.
"I was terrified. I didn't know what to do I was afraid to talk to anybody about a lot of those things because of the legal consequences to it. At the same time I was trying to figure out how to stop it from continuing to happen and that's about the time I quit taking the medication, but it still took a long time for my mind to clear."
Now that his mind is clear, he says, he's offering an apology to the churches and their members.
"I'm sorry about all of this, and I think it was terrible circumstances for everybody. I wish none of this would have happened. I hope they can forgive me."
He says he has forgiven his partner in crime Daniel McAllister who he says lied to investigators about his involvement in setting the fires.
"When he was with me he was encouraging it and an active part of it."
As for his punishment Bourque calls it harsh.
"I feel like the victims the churches themselves got more than adequate justice and help from the community and insurance. I think there sentences toward me were a little harsh, but I still feel sorry for the pain I caused them and the lost memories things like that."
And despite the destruction, he and McAllister caused, he calls himself a victim too.
"I feel like a victim as well in this. The fact I was on this medication and the medication has not ben taken into consideration."
CBS 19 obtained a copy of his psychiatric evaluation. In it, Dr. Gary Mears, says Chantix has received a very high safety warning by the Food an Drug Administration which raises sober concerns about its adverse neuropsychological effects.
For more on our interview watch CBS 19 Monday night at 6. Also read Kenneth Deans' article on Monday in the Tyler Morning Telegraph.