Houston County authorities on Tuesday filed a felony arson charge against the 34-year-old Groveton man who tried to get "favors" from a Crockett woman at knifepoint with arson in connection to the blaze that destroyed her home Monday.
Dexture Phipps was already being held in the Houston County Jail on a charge of burglary with the intent to commit aggravated assault when the new charge was added Tuesday. Collectively, his bond has been set at $100,000.
According to a report, the woman, Jessica Amie, arrived at the Houston County Sheriff's Office around 9 a.m. She told law enforcement officials that a man she knew, Phipps, had come into her home without permission, pulled a knife on her, and demanded "favors."
The woman managed to escape, but while she was making the report at the sheriff's office, a fire was reported at her home, which was located in the 1200 block of County Road 4555.
Firefighters from Pennington and Crockett responded to the blaze. When they got there, the home was fully involved, and they were unable to save it. No one was injured in the fire.
Authorities obtained an arrest warrant for Phipps, and they located him in Trinity County. He was arrested and charged with burglary with the intent to commit aggravated assault.
"According to a family member that lives nearby, Amie was able to escape from this house and call authorities, in that Phipps returned her, broke in and set the house on fire," Sheriff Darrell Bobbitt said.
"She drove up really just to report the assault, she didn't know about the fire at that time," Bobbitt said. "She literally saw the guy in her rear view mirror as she drove away."
According to Bobbitt, Amie was in the sheriff's office the moment an immediate family member had called in the incident.
It wouldn't take much for the authorities to tie Phipps to the arson.
"It's my understanding, Phipps himself spoke to a family member from the residence and confessed to setting the house on fire," Bobbitt said.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 1:15 PM EDT2013-05-22 17:15:29 GMT
A Lufkin woman was struck and killed by lightning during last night's storms.Around 10:30 p.m., a 32-year-old I-HOP employee was standing in the parking lot holding an umbrella when lightning struck her,More >>
A Lufkin woman was struck and killed by lightning during last night's storms.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 10:22 AM EDT2013-05-22 14:22:02 GMT
Flash floods took over several streets in Athens, TX as a line of storms moved into East Texas Tuesday night. A designated flood area had high and fast moving water near Trinity Valley Community CollegeMore >>
Buildings in Gilmer and Whitehouse are damaged, trees are down in several areas, and many are without power.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 7:38 PM EDT2013-05-21 23:38:51 GMT
We're all familiar with the underground storm shelter. Now there is an alternative to digging a hole in your yard. We found a man who can turn an interior closet into a debris-proof safe room. Rudy WrightMore >>
We're all familiar with the underground storm shelter. Now there is an alternative to digging a hole in your yard.More >>