Former Chambers County Asst. District Attorney Arrested for Arson of His Own Home
East Alabama Fire District Firefighters responded to a house fire back in October and knew right away it was arson. After a couple months of investigating, the homeowner, Chambers County Former Asst. District Attorney confessed to setting his house on fire.
When the fire erupted on October 21st, there were different fires burning in various spots of the house.
So, fire officials said it was pretty easy to tell that it was not an accident and was intentionally set.
“When the command staff was doing their walk arounds, they noticed fires in other portions of the house and when you have fires in different portions of the house that’s a huge red flag,” said Kerry Pickard, Deputy Chief East Alabama Fire District.
They also noticed propane cylinders and gas cans sitting not to far from the front door.
Pickard adds that could have been fatal for some of his men.
“These fireman were going in doing their job and when you go into a house and you have multiple fires in a large structure, the fire can easily get behind you. You never know and then you tack on the fact that there is gas poured everywhere and full propane cylinders inside the house, we could have easily had four or five fireman taken out from the beginning,” dose Pichard.
No one was in the house the time of the fire and there were no injuries.
Since then, the Valley Police Department, State Fire Marshals office and the Arson Investigator from the East Alabama Fire District worked together on this case.
On Tuesday, 64-year-old Roland Sledge confessed to setting the fire.
Right now, Maj. Mike Reynolds with the Valley Police Department said they do not have a motive, but Sledge has been arrested before and fired from the DA’s office for theft.
He was terminated after allegations surfaced he was practicing as a private attorney and misappropriated funds.
“I can’t say what was going through his mind with the previous run in and this and extraordinary times and circumstances can cause good people to do terrible things and I would like to think this wasn’t his nature,” said Maj. Reynolds.
He was taken before District Court Judge Calvin Milford at that point the judge revoked his bond from his previous charges.
Sledge is in the Russell County Jail charged with arson in the 2nd degree.