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Baxter County Patrol Vehicle



Scott G. Willett


     A rural Gassville man has been charged with arson following an investigation into a residential structure fire that was reported at 11:49 AM on September 5, 2016 at 2497 Wildcat Shoals Road.

     The fire had suspicious elements, including numerous items from inside that home that had been strewn about the yard, and Sheriff’s investigators were called to the scene.  Investigators spoke at the scene with SCOTT G. WILLETT, who resided at the home but is not the owner. WILLETT initially told investigators that he arrived back at the home and found fire department personnel on scene.  He told investigators that he did not know how the fire would have started.  Investigators found a small propane torch lying in debris in the master bedroom, which was taken into evidence.

     A neighbor provided investigators with information indicating that WILLETT had been observed on the property during the morning the fire had occurred.  This neighbor had video surveillance cameras.  This video footage was viewed by investigators and helped to establish a time line and chain of events during the morning of the fire. SCOTT WILLETT was observed on camera leaving the residence at approximately 11:36 AM in a vehicle.  Just 30 seconds later, the video footage revealed smoke coming from the back side of the home near the master bedroom.

     SCOTT WILLETT was interviewed by Sheriff’s investigators on September 20th.  When WILLETT was confronted with the video evidence, he immediately confessed to having set fire to the home, which is owned by his mother.  When asked why he had set the fire, WILLETT said, “God told me to.”

     SCOTT G. WILLETT, 25 years old of rural Gassville, has been arrested and charged with one count of Arson, a Class A Felony.  He is currently incarcerated in the Baxter County Detention Center with a bond of $75,000.  He is scheduled to appear in the Circuit Court to answer on September 22.  At the time he was charged with this crime, WILLETT was already in custody at the Detention Center on misdemeanor charges unrelated to the arson.

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff