Two sons of former Livingston Parish, La., President Mike Grimmer have been charged with arson after they allegedly broke into a storage container in Grimmer’s backyard and set fire to his wife’s property.
Fire Marshal Butch Browning tells The Advocate that the men were angry at their stepmother. Saturday’s incident came almost a month after Mike Grimmer was arrested and booked with misdemeanor domestic abuse battery on May 31 after an altercation with his wife.
Authorities say John Grimmer, 33, and Aaron Grimmer, 31, were booked into the Livingston Parish Detention Center on one count each of simple arson and simple burglary.
Bail was set at $50,000 for John Grimmer and $40,000 for Aaron Grimmer.
It wasn’t immediately clear if they had lawyers.
Walker Police Department Capt. John Sharp says John Grimmer also was booked with discharging a firearm within city limits after he allegedly used a gun to try to destroy container’s lock.
Failing that, the brothers settled on a grinder to open the container’s lock and then set fire to the contents, investigators said.
Browning said he did not think Mike Grimmer knew about the plot.
“We don’t think he had anything to do with the fire,” Browning said.
Browning said that when firefighters arrived at Mike Grimmer’s house, they found a metal storage container on fire.
Browning said that because no electrical power or other utilities were connected to the container, ruling out the possibility of an electrical fire, investigators concluded the crime of arson may have been committed.
After the fire was put out, Walker police returned to collect evidence and confronted the brothers, both of whom admitted setting the fire, Sharp said.
They said once they were inside the container, they pulled out a drawer in a filing cabinet and used a cigarette lighter to set paper inside the drawer on fire.
Sharp said he was not sure if the brothers had a change of heart, but they tried put the fire out with a hose, but it roared back and engulfed the container after they left.
Mike Grimmer served two terms as Livingston Parish president beginning in 2004 before losing a bitter November 2011 election battle to current Parish President Layton Ricks.
Prior to that, he served as elected mayor of Walker from 1988 to 2004 after being named to fill the unexpired term of former Mayor Albert Pendarvis.
Was this article valuable?
Here are more articles you may enjoy.