A man charged with a slew of crimes was transported back to his home state for prosecution Monday after being arrested by Gaston County, North Carolina, sheriff's deputies back in December. The charges he faces stem from a meth-lab fire this past summer that left one woman dead.
The accused man, who had been visiting relatives in North Carolina this past December, faces charges that include attempting to manufacture a controlled substance, first degree arson and felony murder. He was located in Gaston County and jailed once local authorities matched his identification with that of a man wanted on these charges in Tulsa County, Oklahoma. Information on the accused had been forwarded to Gaston County by Tulsa County deputies.
The deceased woman in this situation had been severely injured in a fire started by a meth-lab accident back on July 27th of this past year. She died on August 13th of burns suffered in the fire and related complications. Even though both the defendant and the woman were both severely injured in the fire, Oklahoma prosecutors still decided to exercise the option to pursue a felony murder charge against the survivor, as they believe the woman died as a direct result of the felonious actions of the pair.
No one came forward in the weeks after the blaze to inform police of suspicions about how the fire may have started, so the defendant was allowed to go free after he recovered from his injuries at the hospital while the woman remained hospitalized. Eventually, witnesses to the fire came forward to police and explained what they believed to have seen on July 27th was a meth-lab fire. An investigation ensued, causing authorities to press charges and have the North Carolina sheriff's department arrest and hold the Oklahoma man until he could be transported home earlier this week for prosecution.
Source: TulsaWorld.com "Man returned to Tulsa from North Carolina on felony murder charge" by Jarrel Wade, 3/1/11