Three men were arrested and charged with first-degree arson in connection to a house fire that happened on July 5 in Rogersville.
The Alabama Fire Marshal's Office charged 18-year-olds Emmanuel Ricks and Timothy Fuqua along with 27-year-old Deangelis Nance with two counts of first-degree arson for the fire.
According to court documents, the Rogersville Fire Department responded to a 911 call on the fire in the 300 block of County Road 608 around 1:00 a.m. The house was fully involved when the arrived.
The fire not only damaged the main home, but also damaged a mobile home to the left of it, according to a summary by Deputy State Fire Marshal Greg Pinkard.
Pinkard said in his statement that "Ricks...advised that he believed [the victim] may still be inside the residence, but they had not seen anyone come outside." He also added that he had video of the homeowner inside the home during the fire, which was sent to Pinkard.
Later on July 5, Deputy Marshal Pinkard and Rogersville Police Officer Morris Barnes were called to the home of Nance's mother. Once there, Nance voluntarily told investigators that "Timothy, Manny and himself had been shooting fireworks on County Road 608."
Nance added that "he was there and watched Manny record [victim] still inside the residence during the fire. He advised that his voice would be on the recording as well as Manny's."
After determining the origin point of the fire on July 9, the next day, Pinkard and Investigator Bradley Bolton interviewed Fuqua and Ricks. After being read their rights, Ricks said that they "had a 'beef' with [the victim] because he thought [the victim] had stole some marijuana from him," according to Pinkard's summary.
During that interview, the two teenagers told investigators that they went to a fireworks stand and bought "some artillery rounds, bottle rockets and smoke bombs" and took those to the victim's house where they started "throwing artillery shells at the residence."
"[The victim] was begging them to stop before they caught his residence on fire and they continued to throw more," stated Pinkard in his summary.
After walking away from the home, the summary states that they noticed the house caught fire. "Fuqua took off with a friend...Manny and Little D (Deangelis Nance) went back to the residence and began recording the house burning and [the victim] inside. Manny and Timothy admitted that they were all, including Little D, trying to set [the victim] up, making it look like he had set his own house on fire."
The next day, on July 11, Pinkard stated in his summary that he spoke with the victim who said back on July 3, the three came to his home and "Little D shot some fireworks through the windows located in the living room and front bedroom." After extinguishing the curtains, [the victim] said he tried to leave the home to escape the smoke, but "Little D threatened to kill him, so he ran back inside the residence."
The victim told Pinkard that when the three returned around 12:30 a.m. on July 5, they yelled "We're back." According to Pinkard's summary, the victim said that "Little D was yelling that he was going to get my a--." When the victim said he "was begging them to quit and not burn down his house," Nance responded with an expletive.
Once the house caught fire, the victim said he kicked open the back door and ran. According to the Alabama Fire Marshal's Office Facebook post, he only had minor injuries.
The post added that Ricks and Fuqua both turned themselves in and were given a $25,000 bond. Nance's bond was set at $100,000 but it was revoked "on previous pending charges in Lauderdale County."
Court records show that both Ricks and Fuqua were released the same day they turned themselves in, July 16, and will be in court for a hearing on August 5.
It's not clear when Nance will be in court next on these charges. He will be in court for a hearing on July 31 after he was indicted earlier this month on four charges that include Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance (cocaine), Possession of Marijuana First-Degree, Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (fake battery pack) and Carrying a Pistol Without a Permit (Charter Arms .44).
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