Friday, August 13, 2010

Magdalena Man Arrested On Arson Charges

By John Larson

MAGDALENA – A Magdalena man has been arrested on four felony charges following arson investigations by Marshal Larry Cearley and Deputy Marshal Terry Flannigan.
A criminal complaint was filed in Magistrate Court Thursday, Aug. 5 on Junior L. Lamance, 49, for negligent arson that destroyed property totaling $3,925.
Marshal Larry Cearley said a distinctive baseball cap and shoe prints led investigators to Lamance, who is being held in a $60,000 cash or surety bond.
According to the criminal complaint, the first fire Lamance allegedly started was at about 5:55 p.m. on July 5 next to the historic stock pens. The fire consumed a large amount of railroad ties and lumber piled by the stock pens, and about 85 feet from a gasoline bulk storage area. Value of the ties and lumber was estimated at $600. Footprints impressions at the scene were photographed.
On July 13 at about 9:17 p.m. the Magdalena Marshal’s office responded to assist the Magdalena Fire Department in putting out a fire involving railroad ties, two inch lumber, one inch lumber and wood posts. Footprint impressions were located next to the fire and pointed to point of origin indicating the defendant was at the fire location just prior to the fire department arriving. The amount of loss is estimated about $725. Footprint impressions matched those at the previous fire.
The third fire was reported on July 15 at about 2 p.m. involving grass, brush and two vehicles that had been parked there for 10 years or more. Footprint impressions entering and leaving the fire were identical to impressions at the two previous fires. Marshal Cearley tracked the suspect’s footprints from the fire at two different points. The footprints were lost when they entered the Highway 60 right-of-way where gravel and pavement was present. Photographs were taken of these impressions which matched the shoes photographed by Deputy Marshal Terry Flannigan on July 19 in which Lamance was holding his shoes. At that time Lamance stated he walked in the area on the day of the fire. The amount of damage is estimated about $1,600.
The fourth fire was on August 3 at about 11:35 p.m. The Marshal’s office responded to assist the Magdalena Fire Department on a cab-over camper fire located on a residential property owned by Donna Dillon of Highland, Calif.
“The fire consumed the camper with a total loss estimated about $1,000. Footprint impressions were located at the scene indicating a match to the shoes worn by Lamance,” the affidavit for arrest stated. “These tracks were followed to the edge of an arroyo where the suspect fell off a 12 foot ledge landing on a wire fence, and losing his ball cap with an image of a bull and rider with a RODEO logo on the brim.” The cap matched the one in the photograph of Lamance taken by Flannigan on July 19.
Plaster cast impressions of shoeprints were taken at the scene to identify Lamance.
Cearley said New Mexico Insurance Fraud Bureau Chief Special Agent Leo Montano and Special Agent Neil Fishback, of the Public Regulation Commission In-surance Fraud Bureau assisted in the interview process of Lamance.

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