Man charged with third arson

  By Abby Morris-Frye
star staff
amorris@starhq.com
  A Siam man arrested last week on two charges of arson has received a third charge for setting fire to a trailer at 1318 Charity Hill Rd., Lot 4 on Nov. 30.
  John Junior Bryant, 38, of Charity Hill Road, was served with the new warrant on Friday evening at 8 p.m. He was already being held at the Carter County Jail on charges of two counts of arson and three counts of filing false police reports.
  According to a report filed by Carter County Sheriff's Department Deputy Amos Halava, the fire occurred at the residence shortly before 3 p.m. on Nov. 30 and destroyed a 1993 Oakwood mobile home owned by Mark Hale, who was renting the residence to Danny and Donna Williams who lived there with their two daughters. No one was inside the residence at the time of the blaze.
  Halava states in his report that CCSD Sgt. Penny Cornett, who was off duty at the time of the incident, drove by the residence and noticed that it was on fire and called the fire department. "She advised she had noticed a tall scraggly-looking man on the driveway above the residence on owner Mr. Hale's property," Halava states in his report.
  According to CCSD Inv. Laverne Julian, police suspected at that time that the fire was suspicious in nature and began investigating it. Julian stated that he had shown a photo lineup, which included Bryant, to Cornett and she identified Bryant as the man she had seen near the residence at the time she discovered the fire.
  Julian stated at the time he began the investigation that the Williams family had lost all of their possessions in the fire. "They even lost their Christmas," Julian said.
  The other charges Bryant had been jailed for include three incidents where he reportedly purposely set fire to his own property or possessions and then reported to fire department and police personnel that the fires started either accidentally or were started by other people. In connection with those three incidents, Bryant was charged with three counts of filing false reports.
  The two previous arson charges he faces are from incidents where he allegedly set fire to property or possessions belonging to a neighbor.
  Julian said he interviewed Bryant in connection with those five incidents in October and Bryant admitted to him at that time that he had purposely set the five fires.
   Julian stated he originally planned to take the charges against Bryant before a Carter County grand jury in January to seek indictments, but after the third fire occurred on Charity Hill Road, he said Bryant could be potentially dangerous if left at large. Julian also stated that early on in the investigation into the Nov. 30 fire Bryant was developed as a suspect due to the fact that he had admitted to previous incidents of setting fire to neighbor's property.
  Bryant is being held at the Carter County Jail on a bond of $2,500.