A Tennessee man as soon as hailed as “Firefighter of the Year” in his neighborhood was arrested Saturday after admitting to setting a sequence of fires.
Leslie Roy Winchester, 19, of Waverly, was taken into custody after admitting to the Humphreys County Sheriff’s Office that had been liable for setting six fires within the space inside a brief span of time, WSMV News reported. He is now charged with 4 counts of aggravated arson, two counts of arson, six counts of vandalism over $10,000, and 6 counts of prison trespass. He is being held on a complete bond of $1,796,000.
The state of affairs started to unfold on Friday when the Humphreys County Fire Department responded to a name from the shop Jennifer’s Discount Gifts & Furniture. Once the blaze was beneath management, county officers reached out to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) for assist investigating a string of fires within the space courting again to June 13.
TBI investigators finally linked the six fires to Winchester, who had been serving as a volunteer firefighter for Humphreys County. When introduced in for questioning, he admitted to setting the fires, explaining that had used gasoline to ignite Jennifer’s Discount Gifts & Furniture.
The first hearth on June 13 came about on the Old Market General Store in Waverly. Winchester admitted to investigators that he set the fireplace there by throwing a lit cigarette into the entrance door.
The disgraced firefighter admitted to setting an deserted home on hearth on June 29 by utilizing lighter fluid. He additionally took accountability for setting a rubbish can on hearth within the Humphreys County Fire Station District 5 by igniting a chunk of paper inside it.
Some of the fires that Winchester admitted to additionally resulted in accidents to fireplace personnel. On July 3, firefighter Bobby Rich was injured whereas responding to a blaze on the Glenwood Church of Christ, which Winchester mentioned he ignited utilizing gasoline on the again door. Firefighter Jennifer Steward was additionally injured on Wednesday on the Cotton Valley Masonic Lodge, which he additionally claimed to have ignited utilizing gasoline.
Winchester had beforehand been given the glory of “Firefighter of the Year” by Humphreys County final December.
The TBI confirmed to varied press shops that the investigation into Winchester stays lively and ongoing.
Newsweek reached out to the TBI for remark.
Arsons being dedicated by firefighters just isn’t a totally unheard-of phenomenon. In 1991, former firefighter and lauded arson investigator, John Leonard Orr was arrested and later convicted for setting a string of lethal fires throughout California within the Eighties and Nineties.