Westlake man charged with arson in failed suicide attempt


A man who allegedly set his home on fire in an unsuccessful attempt at suicide has been charged with arson, according to Louisiana Office of the State Fire Marshal. 

36 year old Stephen G. Jones of Westlake was booked into the Jefferson Davis Parish jail Monday, on one count each of aggravated arson and injury by arson.

Authorities say Jones surrendered himself at the Welsh Police Department Monday following a hospitalization as a result of the incident that occurred two months ago.

It happened in the early morning hours of June 15 in the 100 block of Powers Street in Welsh.

Authorities say Jones was seen jumping out of a window a the burning structure with a knife in his hand.

When he declined to follow officers’ orders to drop the knife, authorities say, he was tased and detained then taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Before leaving the scene, he admitted to setting the fire and at the hospital he told investigators he and his girlfriend, who rent the home from her relatives, were arguing.  

During the dispute, after unsuccessfully attempting to set a mattress on fire, he lit drapes and a sofa on fire in the living room. The girlfriend told investigators Jones then pushed her out of the house.

Jones told investigators he then cut his wrists in an attempt to commit suicide. But when the fire got too hot, Jones said he jumped out of a window.

The chief of the Welsh Volunteer Fire Department, which responded to the fire, was treated for smoke inhalation as well as damage to his trachea and lungs.

Two warrants for Jones’ arrest were issued that day, however, Jones remained hospitalized for an extended period of time.

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