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Fire in the Hole: Grand jury indicts man for allegedly using AA batteries, toilet paper to set fire in his Texarkana jail cell

by Lynn LaRowe | December 5, 2021 at 10:00 p.m. | Updated December 6, 2021 at 9:46 a.m.
Tyler Mooney

TEXARKANA, Texas -- A man who allegedly set fire to his cell in the Bowie County jail using a couple of batteries has been indicted for arson by a Bowie County grand jury.

Tyler Mooney, 27, was being held in a one-man cell at the Bowie County jail annex behind the Bi-State Justice Building in Texarkana on felony charges stemming from offenses committed in Arkansas in June 2018, according to a probable cause affidavit and court records.

At approximately 5:45 a.m. June 4, 2018, Mooney allegedly set fire to items in his cell, including a mattress, toilet paper and inmate clothing. Shortly before the fire began, a correctional officer doing a check at Mooney's door was allegedly doused with an "unknown liquid" from a spray bottle by Mooney.

When informed that force would be used to take the spray bottle which Mooney was allegedly refusing to relinquish, Mooney allegedly started a fire which was tamped out with a fire extinguisher by jail staff. Mooney was reportedly moved to a holding cell.

"Examination of the stainless table on the south wall of the cell revealed two double AA batteries taped together with minor damage to the top of the batteries," the affidavit states.

A small piece of metal was allegedly used to connect the negative and positive ends of the two batteries.

"The suspect placed the batteries against the galvanized shower which caused enough heat to ignite the toilet paper roll, igniting the other items on top of the shower," the affidavit states.

All accidental or electrical sources were ruled out as possible ignition sources.

If convicted of arson, Mooney faces five to 99 years or life in prison.

Print Headline: Fire in the Hole: Grand jury indicts man for allegedly using AA batteries, toilet paper to set fire in his Texarkana jail cell

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