Newport police arrest man accused of arson

Newport police arrest man accused of arson

Tony Williams (Video shot from previous story) Tony Williams (Video shot from previous story)

6 News Reporter

NEWPORT (WATE) - A Cocke County man is behind bars Tuesday for a number of charges including aggravated arson. Newport Police arrested Tony Williams Monday after a grand jury indicted him. This coming more than a month after his neighbors found their three cars and part of their house on fire. 

You may remember 6 News profiled Williams and his son Brandon a number of a times, most recently last May to follow up on Brandon's recovery after being mauled by a pit bull.

Previous Story: Cocke County boy mauled by dogs ready for surgery this summer

Previous Story: Cocke County boy seriously injured in attack by pitbull mix

Tuesday, 6 News caught up with John Scott Jones whose property was destroyed. He says he can breathe a little easier now after Newport police arrested his neighbor, Tony Williams, after a grand jury indicted him. 

Jones' wife, Lesley, woke him up screaming back in May when she saw their three cars, including a silver Corvette, and the side of their home where they were sleeping on fire. 

"Just lost her mind, went bloody murder, you know, screaming 'you know the house is on fire. All of the vehicles are on fire' and i jumped up, come out and looked and you know, immediately, I knew exactly who it was," said Jones. 

Other neighbors in the area have been uneasy since then too. 

"That night, it sounded like the fire trucks were in our house. To wake up and see that was one of the scariest things I've ever seen in my life," said Jennifer Smith of Newport. 

Because of the incident in may, many neighbors like Jones installed security cameras, so that they'd feel safer. More than a month after that, Jones' neighbor now faces charges of aggravated arson, setting fire to personal property, and coercion of a witness.

Jones says he and other neighbors had problems with Williams ever since he moved to the area. 

"Oh, I knew he was a real threat, you know, but you got to have evidence to prove it and stuff. You can't just prove it on somebody's looks and the way they talk," said Jones. 

Many in the area like Jones say the arrest of Williams is giving them peace of mind.

"You know, everything can be replaced, you know, vehicles and all that, but, you know, I can't get my life back and I can't get my family's life back and that's all attributed to Lesley's actions that night," said Jones. 

Williams remains in the Cocke County jail where he is being held under a $500,000 bond. As far as his son, neighbors say Brandon does not live in the same house and is in the care of a grandparent.

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