Arrests made in county arson cases

Published 11:14 pm Friday, October 19, 2007

NATCHEZ — Arrests have been made by the Adams County Sheriff’s Office in two recent arsons and one car theft.

On Oct. 13, Natchez-Adams Fire Department and Adams County Sheriff’s Office responded to a mobile-home fire at 12 Rand Road.

Barbara Gaines owned the trailer and lives next door; she was renting the trailer to Robert E. Bilbo, 34, and Samuel G. Halford, 27.

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After a joint investigation that involved both the Adams County Sheriff’s Office and the Natchez fire department officials determined the fire was deliberately set.

Maj. Jody Waldrop with the Adams County Sheriff’s Office said Bilbo and Halford were arrested and charged with arson on Oct. 18.

In an unrelated incident the sheriff’s office has made an arrest stemming from three other arsons.

On Oct. 11 officials reported to a call of a vehicle on fire on Grafton Circle. The vehicle on fire was a wrecker owned by Jason’s Body Shop. Waldrop said the fire was obviously arson.

The truck’s owner named Lee R. Smith as a suspect. According to Waldrop the two men were involved in an ongoing dispute.

During their investigation deputies were able to develop evidence linking Smith to two other auto arsons involving employees of Jason’s Body Shop. The other two fires were set at the homes of the employees.

After an investigation sheriff’s officers arrested Lee R. Smith on three counts of arson. Waldrop also said that evidence in the case indicates that Smith did not act alone. The sheriff’s office has issued arrest warrants for Ricky Tony Bell and Vernon Ray Isaac.

And in their most recent arrest Adams County Sheriff’s Office has arrested Zachary Logan, 23. On Oct. 17 Logan allegedly stole a vehicle from a residence on East Wilderness Road. Deputies spotted the car a short time later on Old Highway 84 No. 1; the car had been set on fire. The officers also observed a young black man fleeing the scene; they were unable to apprehend him.

The following day a car was stolen from an auto repair shop on Eastmoor Drive.

On Friday Logan was arrested and charged with two counts of grand larceny.