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Texas man charged with arson after allegedly starting a fire inside an occupied home

Heath Elliott Walton | Bannock County Jail
POCATELLO — A Houston, Texas, man faces one felony charge after allegedly starting a fire inside a home.
Heath Elliott Walton, 46, has been charged with first-degree arson, court records show.
Pocatello police responded to a home on South 8th Avenue around 6 p.m. Dec. 14 after receiving reports Walton was threatening to light the house on fire, according to an affidavit of probable cause. A woman who lives at the home told police Walton was spraying WD-40 inside the home.
Upon receiving consent from the woman, officers went into the home and found a fire burning in the living room. Police reports show that the fire covered an area of roughly three feet and had flames approximately 10 inches high.
The fire, reports show, appeared to be a burning toilet paper roll.
One officer began to search for Walton while another retrieved a fire extinguisher.
The first officer called out to Walton, commanding him to come out with his hands up. Walton allegedly refused, shouting back, “F*** you,” and saying the officer would have to shoot him to get him out of the home.
Walton told the officer that he was armed with a hammer and would hit any officer who tried to remove him, according to the affidavit.
The first officer provided cover for other officers as they extinguished the fire.
While they were doing so, the affidavit says, Walton pushed over a dresser to create a barricade to block officers’ ability to enter a bedroom. In doing so, Walton broke the bedroom door in half, giving officers an entry point.
Officers told Walton that if he did not come out, they would deploy a police K9 and he would be bitten. Walton threatened to “bash the dog’s brains in,” the affidavit says.
Officers decided not to deploy the dog, given the threats and circumstances. Concerned Walton would start additional fires, the officers moved in — one with a rifle and another with a taser.
The officer with the taser was able to lean into the bedroom and point the taser at Walton. Once both laser beams from the taser were on Walton, he complied and surrendered into police custody.
Walton, who made suicidal threats during interactions with police, was immediately taken to Portneuf Medical Center for mental health evaluation. At PMC, he was committed to mental protective custody.
According to the affidavit, Walton said several times that he would kill himself. He also said that he would kill everyone at the jail. When he was taken into PMC custody, a doctor asked Walton if he would kill the medical staff. Walton allegedly said he would not hurt any innocent people, but “had no issue” hurting guilty people.
Walton was turned over to the custody of PMC security with an imminent arrest affidavit to be served when he was cleared by the hospital.
Upon release from the hospital, on Dec. 19, Walton was booked into Bannock County Jail. He was released on his own recognizance with a no-contact order on Dec. 22.
Though Walton has been charged with this crime, it does not necessarily mean he committed it. Everyone is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty.
If he is found guilty, Walton would face up to 25 years in prison.
Following waiver of a preliminary hearing, he was scheduled to be arraigned into District Court before District Judge Rick Carnaroli on Jan. 29.
The post Texas man charged with arson after allegedly starting a fire inside an occupied home appeared first on East Idaho News.

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