Natchez resident charged in arson of minister’s house

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 25, 2001

NATCHEZ – A Natchez resident was arrested late Christmas Eve for allegedly setting fire to a local minister’s house Saturday night.

Carson Johnson, 43, of 402 Watts Ave., was charged with arson and was being held on a $10,000 bond at the Natchez jail Tuesday.

Natchez Police Chief Willie Huff said the Rev. T.M. Smith, 96, had a rooming house at the corner of Smith Street and Martins Lane.

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The night of the fire, Smith said that Johnson asked for a room at the establishment, but was turned down because he did not have any money.

Smith said Johnson then told him he would be sorry for not helping him. A few minutes later, Smith said he saw Johnson through the window and then heard the fire.

The fire destroyed the wood building and officials are still looking into how Johnson may have caused the fire.

&uot;It’s still being investigated,&uot; Huff said. &uot;The fire marshal is still looking into that.&uot;