Tyler man accused of setting fire to Beckham Ave. building heading to trial
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - A 91-year-old man who is accused of setting fire to a vacant structure on Beckham Avenue in 2020 refused a plea agreement offer of two years in prison Friday, and the case will now go to trial.
Kermit Francis Gabel, of Tyler, is still being held in the Smith County jail on charges of arson with intent to damage a habitation or place of worship and parole violation. His bond amount has been set at $250,000 for the arson charge.
During the hearing, state attorneys said Gabel has the longest criminal record they have ever seen.
Gabel is accused of setting fire to a vacant structure at 205 S. Beckham Ave. on Nov. 6., 2020. He was arrested on the arson charge on Nov. 11.
Tyler firefighters were dispatched to the fire at 11:09 p.m. on Nov. 6, 2020. When they got to the scene, the building was fully involved.
The Tyler Fire Department responded to the scene with three engines, one ladder truck, a battalion chief, and two investigators.
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