TYLER, Texas (KETK) – A Tyler man is behind bars on several arson charges and accused of setting fire to a home after a verbal argument with a woman, according to an arrest warrant obtained by KETK News.
37-year-old Stanley Wilson Jr. was booked into the Smith County Jail early Wednesday morning. He faces the following charges:
- One count of arson intending damage at a habitation
- Two counts of arson that “recklessly causes another person to suffer bodily injury or death”
The warrant states on the morning of April 15, crews responded to a fire in the 800 block of Mockingbird Lane. The fire destroyed the home as well as a car next door.
A woman living at the home told EMS personnel that Wilson set the fire after an “altercation they had earlier in the night,” according to the warrant. She told them that Wilson allegedly knew she was in the house and he had taken some of her belongings before the argument.
The court documents say the victim was inside her bedroom when she saw the heavy smoke and flames coming inside the house from the garage area.
“[The victim] said she had to get low to find her way to the front door. When she opened the door to escape, there was a rush of air in and she was all of a sudden enveloped in fire. She made it out and took off her jacket that was still on fire. She then began trying to find help.”Excerpt of arrest warrant for Stanley Wilson Jr.
Wilson was first interviewed near the home on the night of the fire. He told police he was walking around the neighborhood. He was not detained or questioned further that night.
Investigators re-interviewed him on April 17 and Wilson denied setting the fire. He said he was not at the house that night, but would still sleep “outside the house between the laundry and the house,” according to the warrant.
He also accused the victim of being “very careless and implied that she probably started the fire,” per the affidavit.
Officers obtained security footage from the laundromat across the street, which allegedly showed Wilson in the backyard the night of the fire. It reportedly shows him starting several fires, including the one that went inside the victim’s home.
Wilson has numerous misdemeanor convictions for criminal trespassing. Arson is usually a second-degree felony in Texas, but can be charged as a first-degree felony if a home or place of worship was damaged.
He is being held in the Smith County Jail on bonds that combine to $1.8 million.