JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Investigators say a man evicted for vandalizing his apartment committed one last act before he moved out: he tried to set it on fire.
Just after 2 a.m. Sunday, May 29, the Jonesboro Fire Department responded to the 1800-block of Self Circle where they found three separate fires had been set inside an apartment.
According to court documents, investigators found one fire had been set inside a water heater closet. The flames extended into the attic space.
The investigator stated the fire started in a hole in the wall that had been stuffed with paper towels. He also reported finding a lighter laying in the floor.
The other two fires were found inside the walls outside of the bedroom area. One of the fires was inside a hole stuffed with what appeared to be a sock and covered with blue painter's tape, the affidavit said.
The tenant, 37-year-old Jared Heath Bowers, told investigators he had been at the residence alone since 10:30 p.m. but denied knowing how the fires started.
The investigator stated he found "eviction notices laying around the apartment" and the property manager confirmed that bowers was in the process of eviction for vandalizing the apartment.
The fire investigator also reported finding an open can of lighter fluid on top of the refrigerator, as well as a towel stuffed under the right rear burner of the electric stove.
After investigating all of the possible ignition sources, the investigator concluded the fires had been deliberately set.
On Friday, June 1, police arrested Bowers on suspicion of arson and he appeared before Craighead County District Judge Tommy Fowler who found probable cause Monday to charge him.
Bowers is being held on a $7,500 cash/surety bond awaiting a June 29 appearance in circuit court.