Fifth suspect arrested in scheme to burn Walker house for insurance money

Fifth suspect arrested in scheme to burn Walker house for insurance money
Tabatha Bankston was arrested Friday in the Wisner area.

FRANKLIN PARISH, LA (WAFB) - A woman, who is the fifth suspect in an arson investigation, is behind bars, according to the Louisiana Office of the State Fire Marshal on Saturday.

Deputies arrested Tabatha Bankston, 39, in the Wisner area on Friday, and was booked into Franklin Parish as a fugitive from Livingston Parish.

Bankston is waiting to be booked in Livinston Parish, where she will be charged on a count of Criminal Conspiracy to Commit Simple Arson.

SEE ALSO: Four suspects in custody after alleged scheme to burn down house for insurance money, one suspect still sought by officials

She is one of five suspects involved in the investigation. Those suspects were arrested in August for conspiring to burn down a large home, belonging to one of the suspects, in Walker.

Here are the names of those individuals:

• Jerry Avants, Sr. of Walker, 55, was booked into the Livingston Parish Jail on one count of Arson with the Intent to Defraud

• Adrian Lee Everett of Prairieville, 42, was booked into the Livingston Parish Jail on one count each of Simple Arson and Arson with the Intent to Defraud

• Tammy Bankston Everett of Prairieville, 42, was booked into the Livingston Parish Jail on one count of Criminal Conspiracy to Commit Simple Arson

• Herman Severio of Walker, 73, was booked into the Livingston Parish Jail on one count each of Arson with the Intent to Defraud and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.

The investigation began on July 17, 2016, when the Livingstono Parish Fire District responded to a fire in the 34000 block of Weiss Road. The State Fire Marshal was called in to help investigate the origin of the fire, and investigators found several areas throughout the heavily damaged home. Investigators deemed the cause as incendiary, but found it suspicious that the home had minimal clothing and food.

During interviews with witnesses, Avants, who owned the home, had made comments just before to the fire about the large insurance policy he had on the home and having someone burn the home down.

Everett, a longtime friend of Everett, confessed to setting the fire for Avants, according to the State Fire Marshal. He was promised part of the insurance payout.

Everett told investigators all five suspects worked together to stage the home, but he started the fire.

Four suspects in custody after alleged scheme to burn down house for insurance money, one suspect still sought by officials

Copyright 2019 WAFB. All rights reserved.