Plaquemines sees multiple fires over holiday weekendJan 4th, 2012 | By William Dilella | Category: top story
Two major fires were reported in Plaquemines Parish over the Christmas Holiday, including one intentionally set to cover up a burglary, according to information from the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Department.
On December 27, Plaquemines Parish Sheriff Michael L. Lafrance announced the arrest of 42-year-old Jude Riley in connection with the fire set at 141 East Collins Drive in Buras.
The fire, which was reported on December 23 at approximately 8:40 p.m., ravaged the trailer. The subsequent investigation revealed that the fire was malicious.
“According to State and Parish Fire Investigators, it was determined that a trailer at that location, belonging to Dewell Walker was burglarized and intentionally set ablaze in two separate locations.”
Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office Detective Sidney Smith was responsible for investigating the arson, and discovered that Riley and the victim had a previous relationship, and Riley’s capture was the result of trying to unload some of the items reported stolen.
“During the course of Detective Smith’s investigation, it was learned that Riley worked for the victim and maintained a close relationship with the victim for several months,” said the Sheriff’s report. “Det. Smith learned that Riley had tried to sell certain items associated with the arson within 30 minutes after the fire was reported. Through Det. Smith’s investigation, it was later discovered that Riley was actively engaged trying to sell stolen property in person and by cell phone. Upon his arrest, Riley threatened harm to Detective Smith upon his release from jail.”
Jude Riley, 42 and also living on East Collins Drive where the fire occurred, was captured and charged with Simple Burglary, Simple Arson, Obstruction of Justice and Threatening a Public Official.
Riley is being held on $100,000 bond, as of December 27.
A second fire occurred in Venice, on 170 Molten Lane, and the unofficial report is that a home appliance was responsible for the blaze. Local residents are credited with responding quickly to assist in extinguishing the blaze.
“That one was not arson, it was due to mechanical failure,” said Fire Chief Roy Robichaux.