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Victoria man charged with arson, assault

By Jessica Priest
May 20, 2014 at 12:20 a.m.


Officials say a Victoria man started a house fire intent on hurting those inside.

Desrick LaShaud Johnson, 25, was indicted Thursday by a grand jury on two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of arson.

A fire broke out at a home in the 2400 block of Ozark Street the morning of Feb. 19.

Johnson used a can of gasoline to start the blaze, according to the indictment.

A neighbor extinguished the fire, which did not hurt anyone and caused minimal damage, according to earlier reports.

Law enforcement arrested Johnson at Best Value Inn, 3901 Houston Highway.

The homeowner, Barbara Ross, suspected then that Johnson had an accomplice because he was able to get to the hotel quickly.

Police haven't found a second suspect, Assistant District Attorney Eddie Wilkinson said Tuesday.

Johnson targeted the mother of his child and another man. He was upset that the mother of his child was at another man's house, Wilkinson said.

"Evidence indicated to me that he was not only attacking the structure; he was threatening the persons who were occupying it," Wilkinson said.

Attorney Arnold Hayden, who could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon, represents Johnson.

On April 14, 2011, a judge sentenced Johnson to two years in prison after his plea was amended in an assault of a family or household member with a previous conviction case.

Earlier this year, a grand jury indicted him on a charge of credit card or debit card abuse, according to court records.

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