A Danielsville man was arrested for first-degree arson recently after allegedly setting fire to a home he shared with his girlfriend.
Derek Justin Steward, 33, 212 Sherwood Circle, was charged with criminal damage to property in the second degree, pedestrian under the influence, arson in the first degree and obstruction of a firefighter.
According to the incident report, Deputy Alan Stratton was dispatched to the scene where Steward’s girlfriend told deputies on scene that he set fire to the residence after she left and went to a neighbor’s house to hide following an argument.
The woman stated that she and Steward had been living together for several months, the last month with no electricity, and that he physically abuses her and had threatened to “burn the house down” if she ever left him.
A witness at the scene also told Stratton that he saw Steward at the residence earlier “yelling and acting crazy” and that soon after he spotted the fire and called 911.
Steward walked toward the officers holding his hands up, saying he was holding his hands up because he was being accused of burning the house down. Stratton noted that while being questioned, Steward was uncooperative and could not keep his balance. His eyes were blood shot and his speech slurred. Stratton asked him if he had been drinking and Steward said he’d had one stiff drink and couple of beers. When asked to take a breath test, Steward replied, “There is no need for that, I’m drunk.”
Firemen at the scene told Deputy Stratton that Steward was walking in the middle of the road holding his hands outward when they arrived and had refused to let them pass.
Steward was booked into the Madison County Jail.
Other arrests on file at the sheriff’s office included:
•Jeffery Hoyt Couch, 37, 137 Belhaven Lane, Hull, order to incarcerate for child support and two bench warrants (original charges: entering auto, theft by receiving, possession of cocaine and possession of tools, etc.).
•Kenneth Duane Davis, 24, 111 Chandler Road, Danielsville, failure to appear (original charge: theft by taking) and parole violation.
•Matthew Darrell Drake, 25, 237 Piedmont Road, Hull, cruelty to children, first degree.
•Christopher Ray Ogle, 20, 41 Beaver Road, Winterville, probation violation (original charges: possession of cocaine and possession of marijuana).
•Howard Edward Queen, 36, 179 Red Oak Lane, Spring City, TN, bench warrant (original charges: three counts of theft by taking, theft by receiving and two counts of entering an auto).
•Julie Amanda Shelton, 32, 25 Backwoods Trail, Comer, probation violation (original charges: two counts of simple battery).