Ala. Lawmaker’s Son One of Two Arrested in Arson Cases

January 25, 2008

The son of an Alabama legislator is one of two men charged with arson and attempted burglary in what Cullman County authorities say is an investigation of suspicious fires in the Hanceville, Ala., area.

Jerrod Heath Fite, 20, and Justin Craig Blanton, 19, were arrested Jan. 18 and charged with arson and burglary, Cullman County Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Tony Quick told The Cullman Times. Fite was released on bond over the weekend, while Blanton is being held in the Cullman County Jail.

Fite is the son of Rep. Lea Fite, D-Jacksonville.

“I really hate it for the young man,” Lea Fite said Wednesday. Jerrod Fite is studying horticulture at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville. Blanton is also a student at the college.

“I told him just to keep his head up, to keep on studying, to keep busy,” Lea Fite said. He said he doesn’t know details of the incident, but “it just doesn’t seem like something he would do.”

Jerrod Fite has not lived with his father since 1990, when his mother, Lea Fite’s ex-wife, moved to north Alabama. But Lea Fite said he has maintained regular contact with his son.

Quick told The Times Jerrod Fite and Blanton have been charged in connection with two house fires and a burglary, but said the investigation in continuing.

“We are looking into some suspicious fires in the same time frame,” Quick said. He said the fires were in the Johnsons Crossing area of Cullman County near Hanceville.

Quick said investigators have not determined a motive for why the fires were set.

Information from: The Cullman Times,

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