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Hamilton, AL 35570

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09/27/2019

Marion County man charged with burglary, arson
MARION COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
Marion County man charged with burglary, arson
 
Article contributed by The Journal Record
 
By Michael E. Palmer
Staff Writer
 
HAMILTON -  A Marion County man is behind bars and charged with the Wednesday, Sept. 4, burglary and arson of a house on Posey Road northwest of Hamilton.
 
Teddy Shane Armstrong, 42, was arrested a few miles away that same day after attempting to hide in the back room of a mobile home shortly after the fire destroyed the house.
 
Marion County Sheriff Kevin Williams said Armstrong, a transient, is from Marion County but that his last known address was in Muscle Shoals.
 
Williams said a caller reported that their neighbor's house was on fire at about 5:15 a.m. Byrd, Shottsville and Hamilton fire departments responded to the scene in an attempt to extinguish the blaze, the sheriff said.
 
Williams said deputies arrived to investigate after the caller reported seeing a man in a baseball cap run from the house and flee the scene in a black Ford Explorer with gold trim.
 
Williams said that firefighters extinguishing the blaze reported that spaces in the house were empty where wall-mounted televisions should have been.
 
"We suspected at that point that we may have had a break-in," Williams said.
 
A short time later, Williams said, a deputy reported seeing a vehicle that matched the description at a mobile home on Emerson Road.
Deputies went over to the mobile home and found the vehicle parked there. Williams said the deputies observed televisions inside the vehicle.
 
"That gave us probable cause to get a search warrant to search the vehicle and the mobile home," Williams said.
 
Williams said once the search warrant came back signed by a judge about 45 minutes later, deputies entered the mobile home and found items that had apparently been taken prior to the house being burned. Williams said three people inside the house--Olivia Damone, Ronnie Hall and Kelley Morrow--were arrested and charged with receiving stolen property.
 
Damone, 25, Hamilton, was arrested for second-degree receiving stolen property and remains in the county jail on a $2,500 bond.
Hall, 54, Hamilton, was arrested for two counts of possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, second-degree receiving stolen property and possession of a medication without a prescription and remains in the county jail on a $8,000 bond.
 
Morrow, 27, Hodges, was arrested for second-degree receiving stolen property, possession of drug paraphernalia and two counts of possession of a controlled substance and remains in the county jail on a $7,000 bond.
 
"We found Teddy Armstrong hiding in the back bedroom of the mobile home, behind a piece of furniture," Williams said.
 
Armstrong was charged with first-degree theft of property, two counts of second-degree theft of property, second-degree arson, three counts of third-degree burglary and third-degree criminal mischief and remains in the county jail on a $118,000 bond.
Williams said Armstrong said he picked the house at random. Armstrong set the house on fire by lighting clothes with a lighter.
"If it wasn't that house, it would have someone else's. He didn't care. He had done meth earlier that morning, at around 4 a.m. He got high and took off," Williams said.
 
"I want to commend my deputies for getting this solved that quick. Usually on a break-in they don't get solved this quick."
 
(When a defendant is charged with a crime, the charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.)
 
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