Arson case moves forwardPublished 3:53pm Saturday, July 27, 2013
When a home went up in flames on Alabama Avenue in June, fire officials said they immediately spotted something different about the flames — they were blazing out of control and burning the house a little too quickly. Two juveniles were arrested as arson suspects in the case and will be seen in court in August. Their lawyers were appointed this week.
The home at 402 Alabama Avenue was abandoned and the flames quickly spread next door to a home that was occupied.
While the district attorney’s office originally hoped to charge the two juveniles as adults, they will appear in court as juveniles and they remained unidentified. Blanchard McLeod and Patrick Chesire were appointed to represent the two suspects, who are both charged with arson first degree and second degree.
The second degree arson charge is connected to the unoccupied home, while the first degree charge is connected to the home that was occupied at the time of the fire.
The two will make a court appearance Tuesday.
In an interview with the Times-Journal following the arrest of the juveniles, Sgt. Kendal Thomas, with the Selma Police Department, said when he arrived to the scene of the fire, witnesses came forward and alerted him to a physical description of the suspects who were around the house before the fire.
“Moments later, we were able to locate those two individuals a few blocks away from the fire and took them into custody,” Thomas said.
Thomas said the two juvenile males were taken back to the Selma Police Department, where their parents were then contacted. After their parents were notified and present, authorities interviewed the suspects.
“During the interview, the two individuals admitted to going to the house at 402 Alabama Ave. with the clear intention of setting the house on fire,” Thomas said.
He said the two brought with them to the house a mixture of charcoal fluid and gasoline that they then reportedly poured throughout the entire house before setting it on fire and leaving.