Selma resident facing arson charge

Published 10:24pm Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Selma resident was charged with a class B felony after reportedly starting a house fire over the weekend. 

Jessie Bell, 25, 515 Twenty Foot Ave., Selma, was arrested Saturday on probable cause for second-degree arson. Bell appeared in circuit court Tuesday for a bond hearing and was returned to Dallas County Jail under his original bond of $30,000, according to District Attorney Michael Jackson.

Jackson said Bell would face a preliminary hearing on April 22.

The Selma Police Department and Selma Fire Department responded to the fire alarm on the 2300 Block of Main St. Saturday at 3 a.m. and found a Selma home at 2303 Main Street.

After the fire was distinguished, Chief Alton Green of the Selma Fire Department spotted a male, later identified as Bell, standing in a darkened area away from the house. When Green addressed Bell, Bell advised that he set the home on fire. The resident of the home on 2303 Main St. was not injured.

The Selma Police detained Bell and took to the Selma Police Department where Bell reported his motive, according to Selma Police.

“During the interview, Mr. Bell reported setting the fire in retaliation for the death of his brother, Arthur Bell,” Lt. Curtis Muhannad of the Selma Police Department wrote in a press release. “Further investigation into the motive for the Arson, uncovered that Jessie Bell’s brother died in a vehicle accident about 15 years ago, in which, he was a passenger in the vehicle with the resident of the house Mr. Jessie Bell set a fire.”

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