‘She’s a survivor’: Arson victim returns home for first time ahead of suspect’s bond hearing
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - It’s the first time Breanna Jones has seen her damaged home since the fire. She could only shake her head as she walked past her scorched door and burned belongings.
“It’s unbelievable,” she exclaimed.
Investigators with the Baton Rouge Fire Department say the blaze was intentionally set. A suspect, Christian King, is in custody. He could be granted bail and released Wednesday, Jan. 18.
“We’re prepared to move forward tomorrow with all of the information that we have, provide it to the court, and ask the court to hold him pending trial,” said East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore.
Moore considers King to be a danger to King and Jones’ six-month-old baby girl. Jones and the baby were not home at the time of the fire, but Jones says there is no way King could’ve known that.
“I keep just thinking if me and my daughter were here when he started this fire we would not be here today,” Jones added.
Moore says Jones took all the right steps to protect herself.
When someone sliced her car tires, she filed a protective order against King.
She did some digging and found out a New Orleans-based company named ASAP Release was keeping tabs on King through an ankle monitor for unrelated charges. So, she reached out to that company and asked them to let her know if King ever got close to her home.
ASAP Release called Jones several days over the next few weeks after tracking King’s ankle monitor near her home in the middle of the night.
“It’s very frightening. Every time I got a call my heart skipped a beat. I was scared for my life,” she said.
Jones and ASAP Release contacted police after each incident, but King still walked free.
To better protect herself, Jones placed cameras around her home. One of them caught a man in dark clothing pouring fluid on her home, and eventually a large fire erupting at the front of the home. ASAP Release says King’s ankle monitor was flagged at the address at the same time as the fire.
Jones immediately spoke out on social media and called authorities to ask for help.
“This is the type of person we like to see. Normally, victims of this type of crime are a little shy because they’re afraid about retaliation. They’re afraid for family members and that type of thing,” said Moore. “But this victim stepped up. She is a survivor.”
Moore couldn’t speak about why King walked free, despite multiple reports that he was near Jones’ home. Baton Rouge Police did not respond to specific questions sent to them Sunday, Jan. 15.
Jones says she eventually wants answers from BRPD, but for now she’s focused on making sure King cannot get to her or their baby.
“I’m praying that he stays behind bars,” she said.
King currently faces a simple arson, criminal damage to property and violation of a protective order charges after his arrest for the fire. Moore says the charge could be bumped up to aggravated arson.
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