CEDAR CITY – A Beryl resident was arrested for aggravated arson early Wednesday morning after he allegedly burned down a family member’s mobile home.
Dell Ray Jones, 44, was arrested and booked into the Iron County Correctional Facility on a first-degree felony for aggravated arson. His bail is $20,000 cash only.
The Iron County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call at around 2:30 a.m. on a structure fire located at 2831 N. Beryl Highway, according to the charging documents filed in the case.
At the time, authorities were uncertain if anyone was inside the residence found to be a mobile home.
“We thought at first that we were doing a recovery because we believed there was a body in that mobile home,” said Iron County Sheriff’s Detective Dave Mitchell.
Police later contacted family members who owned the mobile home and property and learned that Jones had been staying in the residence but had recently been told to leave by family, Mitchell said.
Court records state that the family had taken all of Jones’ personal property from the residence and put it in his vehicle located in Enoch.
Investigators later learned that Jones had allegedly been seen at the mobile home the day before. The witness told police she believed the suspect started the fire due to his previous behavior of destroying property.
Police continued to try and locate Jones to make sure he was not inside the mobile home during the fire. After several hours of searching Jones was located in the Modena area.
Jones was transported to the sheriff’s office for an interview where he waived his Miranda rights, documents state. Jones allegedly admitted to investigators that he had started the fire with a mattress in the front room of the mobile home. He then walked away from the residence, court documents state.
Fire Marshal Todd Hohbein was contacted by authorities and said he believed upon “first glance” that there was possible evidence of arson. Hohbein is continuing to investigate the incident, Mitchell said.
If convicted, Jones could potentially be sentenced from five years to life in prison under Utah code and be ordered to a pay a maximum fine of $10,000.
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