Derik Vanderford Staff Writer
October 4, 2013
UNION — The investigation of a suspicious house fire left a Union man charged with third-degree arson and two counts of attempted murder.
At approximately 11:25 p.m. Oct. 1, 2013 , a call came into 911 of a reported structure fire at 159 Parks Lane in Union. When firefighters responded to the scene they thought the fire was suspicious nature. Deputies called Investigator Scott Coffer to the scene to take over the possible arson investigation. Coffer contacted SLED and agents responded to the scene on Wednesday morning. It was determined that accelerates were used to start the fire and interviews began. During the course of the investigation, officers learned that William Allen Wallace was currently living at the residence and had been charged previously with arson. During an interview with investigators Wallace admitted to starting the fire. He was taken into custody at approximately 4 p.m. Oct. 2.
Wallace, 41, was charged with third-degree arson and two counts of attempted murder. The attempted murder charges stem from two elderly females being asleep in the house at the time he started the fire — one being his mother and the other being the homeowner.
Wallace was previously charged with third-degree arson on July 12, 2010, from an incident that occurred at 119 Haney Road, Buffalo. On June 16, 2011, he was allowed to plead guilty and sentenced to three years, suspended to two years probation and credit for time served. He was released from probation June 2013.
Sheriff David Taylor states that this is another perfect example of the criminal justice system failing the citizens of this county and state.
“Any arson investigator will tell you that you do not cure an arsonist,” Taylor said. “William Wallace was allowed to plea to probation for burning down a $117,000 home. Had Wallace been sentenced to three years instead of the suspended sentence, he would have still been in prison and that would have prevented this arson from occurring.”
Taylor went on to say that “this revolving door court system has to be addressed, or crime in this county and across the state will only get worse. It is not fair to the victims in this county to continue to see criminals put back on the streets to continue a life of crime. It is discouraging to law enforcement to see the same criminals continue to be allowed back on the streets to commit more crimes.”
The Union County Sheriff’s Office also reported the following arrests:
— Bobby Dean Bright, 50, of 216 Raymond Road, Union, was charged with hindering a law enforcement officer around 1:05 p.m. Oct. 1. According to the incident report, officers went to Raymond Road in reference to serving an arrest warrant, and they noticed a male run back inside the residence. As officers approached, Bright held them up from entering and would not state who ran back inside.
— Amber Nicole Avant, 24, of 329 N. 2nd St., Lockhart, was charged with second-degree burglary around 5:30 p.m. Oct. 2. According to the incident report, Avant broke the glass in the front door and back window of a neighbor’s residence and took around $6-7 in change from his dresser.