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08/04/2015

Arson results in burns to 10-year-old girl

Arson results in burns to 10-year-old girl

  • Suspect arrested, facing charges in Marion, Fayette counties

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Article contributed by The Journal Record

 

By TRACY ESTES

News Editor

 

WINFIELD - An arrest has been made in connection with a residential arson case which resulted in a 10-year-old girl suffering burns to her hands and feet while attempting to escape the blaze which leveled her home.

 

Phillip Charles Warren, 30, is currently being held in the Marion County Jail in Hamilton pending a $207,500 bond for his alleged role in the incident.

 

According to authorities, the suspect was released from a state prison less than a year ago on various drug charges.

 

Warren is facing charges in Marion and Fayette counties, ranging from first-degree arson to theft of property involving a 2012 Toyota Camry at another home not far from the site of the arson.

 

Firefighters were called to the scene of the residential fire on Bobo Road just south of Winfield shortly after 3:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 26. The house was eventually declared a total loss.

 

Winfield Police Investigator Brett Burleson confirmed a young adult female was inside her home at the time of the fire, along with her 10-year-old daughter.

 

Each victim was treated and released from Northwest Medical Center in Winfield with the youngster having met with a surgeon later in the week to determine the best treatment for her injuries, according to Burleson.

 

The investigator said the fire is believed to have started in the carport, but how the blaze was actually set remains under investigation. Burleson said the suspect has confessed to the crimes.

 

Consulting with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department in the earliest phases of the case, the Winfield Police Department eventually took the lead role in the case.

 

Following leads secured at the scene and from a number of other sources, Winfield authorities arrested Warren about 12 hours later at a friend’s house located on Henson Road in Gu-Win.

 

He has been charged with receiving stolen property, possession of a controlled substance,  and 18 counts of illegal use of a debit card in Marion County.

 

At the time of his arrest, methamphetamine was found on Warren’s person.

 

Charges in Fayette County include first-degree theft of property in relation to the stolen vehicle, second-degree theft of property involving the stolen debit cards as well as an undisclosed amount of cash taken from a purse inside the vehicle, second-degree theft of property, first-degree assault for the injuries sustained by the victims in the house fire, first-degree arson, unlawful breaking and entering of a vehicle for the damage inflicted upon a second vehicle at the scene, third-degree theft of property and first-degree criminal mischief.

Bond in Fayette County will be set upon Warren’s release from the Marion County Jail and transfer to Fayette County.

 

“Let me clarify that the two vehicles were not at the same home as the house fire,’’ said Burleson. “The vehicles were at a nearby home.

 

“He attempted to steal the first vehicle and could not find any car keys, but there was damage to the vehicle. He stole the second vehicle, which was at the same house as the first car. Stealing the car was just a means of escape.’’

 

Each vehicle has since been recovered by authorities.

 

Burleson said Warren began a “spending spree’’ in the area using the cash stolen from the purse inside one of the cars and the debit cards also stolen from the scene.

 

In the end, Burleson also praised his fellow officers for their work in the case.

 

“At one point, I had six or seven officers working six or seven different angles in this case to bring this to a close,’’ Burleson explained.

 

“My guys did exceptional work in this case. I cannot say enough about their efforts.’’

 

(When a defendant is charged with a crime, the charge is merely an accusation until or unless the defendant is proven guilty.)

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