Man Arrested for Allegedly Starting a Fire that Killed Disabled Brother
On Tuesday, an East Texas man was arrested for allegedly starting a house fire that would result in the death of his half-brother.
The Smith County Fire Marshal was contacted on May 18 at around 8 p.m. regarding a man who was reportedly trapped inside a burning home. In response, authorities went out to a residence located within the 11300 block of CR 1113, an area located in SW Smith County.
The suspect is 32-year-old Robert Harrison Johnson IV. According to a release to the media, Johnson was arrested mid-morning last Tuesday after the Smith County Fire Marshal's Office obtained a murder warrant.
During the initial investigation, it was assumed that Johnson had been able to escape the house fire. However, his brother, who has been confirmed to have been both physically and mentally disabled, was unable to do so. Despite resuscitation efforts, 35-year-old Jack McKenzie Ross died.
After a deeper investigation, authorities now believe the fire was started deliberately.
Upon further investigation, authorities came to believe the fire started in one of the bedrooms of the home had been a deliberate effort on the part of Johnson, who lived with his half-brother, to start a fire that would consume the home and result in Ross's death.
Robert Harrison Johnson IV, 32, was arrested around 10 a.m. Tuesday morning after the Smith County Fire Marshal’s Office obtained a murder warrant for his arrest in the fatal fire case, according to a press release from the fire marshal’s office.
According to TylerPaper.com, Smith County Fire Marshal Jay Brooks said:
“Our hearts and prayers continue to go out to the family of Jack Ross as they continue to mourn his loss. The Smith County Fire Marshal’s Office is committed to finding the facts in this case in hopes we can bring some form of closure for Mr. Ross’ family.”