Greene County deputies say they caught two arsonists who set their neighbors' property on fire. Charges against Adam L. Grant and Michael R. Duncan are the latest during this summer's rash of suspicious fires.
Singed shingles and broken glass are scattered across the backyard of an empty farm home on Farm Road 95 in Willard. Deputies say two men set two fires inside the home. Less than two miles away, deputies say they set fire to about 30 hay bales on Farm Road 84 in Willard.
“Yeah it's frustrating there is a lot of hard work involved and to watch it go up in smoke. It's frustrating," Ken Scott said. The arson was not only frustrating but costly for Scott. “When you lose another 20-30 bales or whatever you lose you are looking at selling cattle or buying hay,” Scott said.
Due to droughts, hay is hard to find. “Everything around here, as far as extra hay, is mostly heading to Oklahoma or Texas for a premium price because those people down there suffered in the drought,” Scott said.
Fighting Mother Nature comes with the territory but until recently fighting crime had not. “I've stacked hay here for 25 years and you don't expect anything like that to happen and unfortunately it has,” Scott said. “I feel sorry for any other farmer that's lost hay I feel sorry for anybody that's lost property.”
Prosecutors charged Grant and Duncan with setting both fires. They say Grant told deputies he poured the diesel fuel as Duncan used a lighter to set the fires. “People that do stuff like that need to do the hard work that's involved with putting it together in the first place,” Scott said. “Maybe they'd understand it's not so easy to replace.”
Until their day in court, deputies asked the court to ban the two men from having ignitable fluids or lighters. Deputies say Grant was already on probation for felony stealing. Both men's bonds are set at $7,500. They both face felony charges for burglary, arson and knowingly burning or exploding.
In July in an unrelated case, Greene County prosecutors charged 18-year-old Adam Cockrell and 17-year-old Richard Tribby with four felony counts each for setting fires.