Teen Suspect Charged with Setting Fires in East Texas

January 13, 2006

An 18-year-old suspect has been arrested in connection with two arson fires in Bowie County, Texas.

Randal Kight was questioned in connection with a series of wildland fires that have plagued the town of Maud, southwest of Texarkana. Another suspect, a juvenile, is also believed to have been involved, according to the Texas Department of Insurance.

Investigators with the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Texas Forest Service believe the two teenagers may be responsible for as many as eight separate fires. After questioning, Kight was arrested and charged with two counts of arson, a second degree felony.

Investigators with the Governor’s Arson Task Force, in conjunction with local authorities, canvassed nearby homes and businesses, pursuing a series of leads. Witnesses pointed investigators to the two suspects, who had reportedly boasted to friends about setting the dangerous fires. State Fire Marshal Paul Maldonado says the fires destroyed dozens of acres and threatened the lives of residents and emergency responders.

If convicted, Kight could receive a punishment of up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.

The Governor’s Arson Task Force includes members from the State Fire Marshal’s Office, the Texas Forest Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Source: Texas Department of Insurance

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