Trio charged with arson in 3 Montz fires
Jonathan Menard - May 23, 2013
Two juveniles and a 25-year-old man have been arrested in connection with two separate Friday fires in Montz – one of which destroyed a home.
The trio was also connected to a fire that was set at a home under construction in Montz on March 30, according to the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities were called to the scene of the house fire at around 8:30 p.m. on Friday. When they arrived, the home at 410 Westover Lane was completely engulfed in flames. The home was under construction in an upscale neighborhood off of Evangeline Road and investigators quickly determined that the fire was set intentionally because electricity was not yet connected.
Minutes earlier, two more fires had scorched a pair of uninhabited mobile homes only a few hundred yards behind the Westover Lane home.
David Ceaser, who owns the home, said the two-story was around 80 percent complete at the time of the fire.
Construction began on Dec. 1 and Ceaser, who currently lives in LaPlace, was looking forward to moving back home to Montz.
"Montz is my home," he said. "My grandfather lived in Montz, my mom lived in Montz and I lived here as a kid."
Ceaser was working at the home on Tuesday and said he believes he will be able to salvage the home’s rear garage. He was waiting for insurance adjusters to arrive and had not heard that three arrests were made in the case.
When informed that two juveniles and a 25-year-old were charged with the arson, Ceaser blamed their reported crime on how they were raised.
"Stupid kids aren’t born, they are invented," he said. "Parents have got to be there and be involved with their children."
The fire was the second criminal incident to strike Ceaser’s home. A week before the fire, someone stole copper from the site.
St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne said a witness saw three teens near Ceaser’s home before the fire started. There is a trail behind the home that is often used as a cut through route to get to nearby Hollywood Estates.
Lance LaMarca, arson supervisor for the state Fire Marshal’s Office, said authorities canvassed the neighborhood and the area immediately behind the home for suspects on Saturday, but where unable to find those responsible. On Monday, detectives received information that led them to a Montz home on LA 628. Police executed a search warrant at the residence and arrested three people for the arsons.
Beau Badeaux, 25, was charged with three counts of aggravated arson, six counts of contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile and a 29th Judicial District Court attachment that was unrelated to the fires.
A 16-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy were also arrested and charged with three counts each of aggravated arson.
According to Capt. Pat Yoes, Sheriff’s Office spokesman, the three all admitted to being involved in the fires. Yoes said they also told authorities that they set fire to another Montz home that was under construction in March.
LaMarca said the home’s high value could come into effect during any subsequent court cases and a judge could force the trio to pay restitution.
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