The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, assisted by the Alexandria Police Department, may have thwarted an attempted arson while on a separate investigation late Monday night.
Sheriff Patrick Ray says 60 year old Wilburn Estes of Avant Circle, Alexandria and his ex-wife, 56 year old Margaret Lack of Liberty Hill Road, Alexandria are each charged with attempted arson.
They apparently went to a residence on Cemetery Street in Alexandria with the intention of getting revenge on a man who allegedly refused to pay $120 for some tools he bought from their son, 32 year old Hugh Don Estes, who was recently involved in a traffic accident and is now paralyzed.
Sheriff Ray says he, another county deputy, and an Alexandria Police officer went to the Cemetery Street residence around 11:30 p.m. Monday night on another investigation and as the officers pulled up to the home, they saw a man running from behind the house toward a parked car. The man (Estes) jumped in the car, and the vehicle sped away, driven by a woman (Lack).
Sheriff Ray says he pulled the car over about a mile down the road and the other two officers joined him after they finished up at the house talking to the resident on Cemetery Street. After gathering information from Estes and Lack, the officers released them, not yet knowing about the attempted arson.
A few minutes later, the resident on Cemetery Street called for the officers to return to his home, saying there were gas fumes in his house coming from the central heat and air unit. Sheriff Ray says upon further investigation, the officers found at the back of the man's house, a box containing a big pillow and other clothing along with two gallons of gasoline, a rubber glove, and a dust mop.
The officers then went to the residences of both Estes and Lack and picked them up for questioning. Based upon the evidence collected and incriminating statements made by Estes, he and his ex-wife were charged in the case.