JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Jonesboro police have arrested three teens suspected in an arson that sent a Jonesboro woman to a Memphis hospital with critical injuries. Two will be charged as adults.
Around 11:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 8, Jonesboro fire and rescue crews responded to a house fire in the 2100-block of Harrisburg Road.
When they arrived, they found the house in flames and a woman, 64-year-old Marcia Patton, unconscious inside.
Fire crews pulled Patton out of the burning residence and performed CPR on her until an ambulance could take her to a local hospital. She was later flown to Regional One Health in Memphis with life-threatening injuries.
Jonesboro Fire Marshall Jason Wills told Region 8 News the fire was ruled an arson.
Investigators with the Fire Marshall’s Division noticed signs of forced entry into the home, according to a news release from the Jonesboro Fire Department. Inside, they found the home had been ransacked and vandalized. According to court documents, they also found evidence that the “fire had been intentionally set.”
On Oct. 9, the day after the fire, investigators saw three male juveniles walking behind a residence that adjoins the burned home’s property. When the fire marshals attempted to contact the teens, two of them ran away, including one who was carrying a duffel bag.
The fire marshals later found the teen with the duffel bag, later identified as Johnathan Shultz, behind a building across the road from the home.
When they looked in the bag, according to the affidavit, the fire marshals found two handguns and detained him. During their investigation, officers learned a nearby home in the 2500-block of Rosewood Circle had been broken into.
“All of the property that Shultz was in possession of was identified as property stolen from the residence [on] Rosewood,” the court documents said. “The residence had broken into through a window at the backside of the residence, which was similar to the residence [on] Harrisburg Road."
The fire marshals then contacted the Jonesboro Police Department. Detectives, according to the news release, found evidence that tied the Shultz and two other juvenile suspects to the fire.
Police arrested Shultz, 17-year-old Gabriel Walton and another teen. Shultz and Walton will be tried as adults, according to court documents. At the time of his arrest, Walton was being held on a $250,000 bond on suspicion of arson, burglary and theft. Shultz faces the same charges and is being held on a $75,000 bond.
The other suspect was remanded to the custody of the juvenile department. Due to his age, police did not identify him.
Battalion Chief Brett Winstead said Monday they found flames coming from the house when they arrived.
“I arrived on scene first,” Battalion Chief Winstead said. "We had heavy fire showing from the front of the structure and heavy smoke throughout.”
Winstead said when he and fellow firefighters arrived a bystander told them someone might be inside.
They immediately leaped into action.
“We initiated an all hands rescue,” Winstead said. “First engine made an attack. Other crews went in and did a search. We did pull one person out. She’s been sent to the hospital. We did two more searches and found nothing.”
Winstead said Patton was unconscious when they pulled her out.
“The fire crews did CPR,” Winstead said. “Ambulance arrived on scene and took over care from there. They then took her to the hospital.”