DECATUR — Andrew J. Wilson told a Macon County Circuit Court judge Wednesday he wasn’t interested in a plea deal on charges he set fire to his Decatur trailer home with his mother inside it and then threatened a firefighter who came to put the flames out.

Wilson’s public defender, David Ellison, had mentioned the prospect of a plea deal to Judge Phoebe Bowers, but Wilson, who is in custody on $75,000 bond, immediately spoke up: “I had given it some thought, and I’m not going to take the deal,” he told Bowers.

The judge then entered his not guilty plea to charges of aggravated arson and aggravated assault. She set the case for a pretrial hearing Tuesday.

A sworn Decatur police affidavit filed in the case said firefighters were called to a trailer home in Hedrick Court on the night of June 9 and entered the structure to fight a fire. Once inside, Battalion Chief Dan Kline told police he was confronted by Wilson, 24, whom he told to leave while the fire was being extinguished.

“Kline stated Wilson began to argue with him and demanded Decatur Fire Department leave the trailer,” police officer Timothy Wisniewski said in the affidavit. Wilson is then described as picking up a glass jar and threatening to attack Kline with it. “Kline advised Wilson then stated, ‘You have five seconds to get out my house, or I’m going to bash this over your head,’” Wisniewski said.

Wilson didn't carry out the threat, and firefighters successfully dealt with the fire, tracing it to a blaze that had been set deliberately by Wilson in a room used as an office, the affidavit said. Wisniewski said Wilson’s mother had been present when her son set the fire.

Wisniewski said in the affidavit that Wilson later confessed to the arson and said he had wanted to kill himself after arguing with his boyfriend.

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Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


Macon County Courts Reporter

Macon County courts reporter for the Herald & Review.

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