Affidavit: Arson suspect broke into Coker to steal cash

Affidavit: Arson suspect broke into Coker to steal cash
Dand Woods (Source: Smith County Jail)

SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - Several witnesses claimed that the man suspected of setting a fire at Coker Enterprises had a heroin problem, and one of them said they thought he was capable of doing anything because of his need for money to fund his habit, according to the arrest affidavit.

Dand Cruz “David” Woods, 30, is still being held in the Smith County Jail on an arson of a building charge, which is a second-degree felony. His bond amount has been set at $150,000.

Woods is accused of starting a fire at Coker Enterprises, at 7106 U.S. Highway 271 North, just outside of Tyler.

Smith County Fire Marshal Jay Brooks said in a press release that evidence from the fire, which started at 6:06 a.m. October 12, showed multiple points of origin. Evidence also included details that would have been known only to employees or past employees, he said.

Officials respond to second fire at Coker Enterprises in two weeks
Officials respond to second fire at Coker Enterprises in two weeks (Source: Victoria Lara (KLTV))

The October 12 fire was the second fire at Coker Enterprises in less than two weeks.

“Based on our investigation, we have evidence which leads us to believe the suspect made entry to the building using a method and hidden tool to pry open a door that was only known to current employees of that particular building and two former employees,” the affidavit stated.

The other exterior doors were large, sliding doors that had been secured from the inside and had been locked at the time of the fire.

During the investigation, authorities talked to several of Woods' friends, acquaintances, and co-workers. One person said that Woods was known to have a heroin problem and that he would become very paranoid when he was using the drug, the affidavit stated.

“Because he was using, [the witness] stated she believed [Woods] was capable of anything because of his mental state while on the drugs and his need for money to supply him with heroin,” the affidavit stated.

Another witness confirmed that Woods used heroin, the affidavit stated.

The affidavit stated a third witness claimed Woods kidnapped him the weekend after the fire, and the incident was reported to the Smith County Sheriff’s Office. That witness allegedly claimed Woods bragged about setting the fires and even provided him with information on how he did it.

The information was corroborated with physical evidence found at the two fire scenes, the affidavit stated.

“The witness stated Woods claimed he did it to get cash and then used the fires to cover up the burglaries,” the affidavit stated.

According to the affidavit, the witness also said that Woods was angry at the management of Coker Enterprises for firing him.

During another interview, the third witness mentioned in the affidavit said he or she was with Woods the more of the fire. The individual also told investigators that Woods solicited another person to help him break in to and set fire to a building that he specifically called Coker Enterprises, the affidavit stated.

The witness said he later saw a news story about the fire at Coker Industries on TV, the affidavit stated.

Brooks said in the press release that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Smith County Sheriff’s Office; and the Smith County Precinct 5 Constable’s Office also aided in the investigation.

If convicted, Woods faces two to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Brooks said he anticipates additional charges to be filed against Woods.

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