Trial date set for suspect indicted in government office arson

Douglas McArthur Adams II (Source: Independence County Jail)
Douglas McArthur Adams II (Source: Independence County Jail)

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) – A trial date has been set for a  man suspected in the arson of a governmental office in Batesville.

According to Cherith Beck of Eastern District of Arkansas, Douglas McArthur Adams, II's trial has been set for Oct.28.

Investigators say the Arkansas Department of Community Correction office in Batesville was burglarized and set on fire on June 10. One file of reports was missing from the office, according to investigators.

Adams was named the suspect in the arson when blood evidence collected at the scene matched a DNA sample given voluntarily by Adams. The blood was on the broken glass at the back side of the office. Glass fragments on gloves from Adams' truck were also taken and analyzed. The glass matched the glass of the door that was broken. A truck matching Adams' was also capture on video leaving the scene near the time the building was set on fire.

The evidence analyzed by the Arkansas State Crime Lab tied Adams to the crime scene and resulted in a federal arson charge, Thyer stated.

Staff at the office told investigators Adams had been in the office on June 6 for a drug test. He failed the drug test and presumptively tested positive for meth. One June 11 Adams was arrested for revocation of bond for testing positive for meth.

According to court documents, damages to the building exceeded $100,000 to the entire structure which also housed the Pediatric Therapy of North Central Arkansas. Investigators say the fire appeared to have been started in a room close to where drug-testing urine samples were stored. An accelerant had also been poured on the floor.

Staff members have moved into their temporary location, an office space located above the Independence County Emergency Management office at 130 Fourth Street in Batesville.

Adams could face 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted. He remains in custody at this time.

Region 8 News will continue to track this story and have the latest as it becomes available.

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