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Local man charged with arson

FAIRMONT — A Fairmont man is facing felony charges in Martin County.

Timothy Wayne Parsons, 35, has been charged with arson in the first degree, which carries a maximum penalty of one half of 20 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

He is also charged with making threats of violence, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

According to the complaint:

On Jan. 6, a Fairmont police officer responded to a call of a man who was pouring lighter fluid on the front step of a woman’s residence in the 300 block of Victoria Street while she was still inside.

Upon arrival, the officer was approached by Parsons, who told him he was the one the officer was looking for. Parsons said he got into an argument with a relative, and that she started pouring lighter fluid on the stairs to get him in trouble.

The officer observed that Parsons smelled strongly of alcohol and was obviously intoxicated. Parsons was placed under arrest, and a search of him revealed a butane lighter in his front left pocket.

Parsons continued to ramble and again indicated the woman poured the lighter fluid. He said she then ran outside and threw the lighter fluid in the pool. The officer advised Parsons of his rights and Parsons indicated he understood.

When asked what happened, Parsons said he and the relative “got into a heated argument.” He then said the woman started assaulting him.

The officer also spoke with the woman, who said she saw Parsons start to dump the lighter fluid on the front step so she called the police. She said Parsons then told her he was going to burn her car and house. When asked where the lighter fluid bottle was, she said she did not know.

The officer walked to the rear of the house to look for the bottle. The woman lifted the lid to the charcoal grill and the officer observed a wad of cash inside the grill. The woman said Parsons also threatened to burn their money.

The officer observed that it appeared a person had intentionally squirted lighter fluid in a figure-eight type pattern on the wooden deck.

The lighter fluid bottle was later found in the swimming pool in the backyard.

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