Wiggins Charged with Burning Son's House

Lauderdale County, Miss. An arrest has been made in a Mar. 12 Lauderdale County arson case.

50-year-old James William Wiggins has been charged for allegedly setting fire to his son's house in Russell. His son happens to be a Lauderdale County deputy.

Deputy Jason Wiggins and his family were out of town at the time, but his patrol car was parked in front of the house.
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After firefighters finished extinguishing the fire Mar. 12, Sheriff Billy Sollie the investigation began. Sollie says it quickly became clear that outside assistance was needed.

"We contacted the state fire marshal, who in turn contacted the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation," said Sollie. "They have been concluding their investigation and made a presentation to the most recent Lauderdale County grand jury."

Sollie said that's when an indictment was issued for James Wiggins and he was arrested.

This is not the first time Newscenter 11 has reported on Wiggins. In the early morning hours of Mar. 7, 2013, he was the victim of a violent home invasion. A total of nine gunshots were fired and Wiggins told us at the time that he and his mother narrowly escaped the gunfire.

Sollie says the outside agencies investigating the house fire help eliminate any conflict of interest since a deputy's father is the suspect.

"When you run into a situation where you have family members involved and a possible or an alleged felony crime against an employee, having outside agencies to work closely with us and adopt a case and present the case to a grand jury is very important," Sollie said.

The sheriff says the state fire marshal's office and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation will move forward with prosecution.

James Wiggins is currently out of jail on a $5,000 bond.


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