Thursday, 23 May 2019 16:57

Man charged with arson in East Rockingham fire

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ROCKINGHAM — A man accused of causing a fire that burned part of one home and melted the siding of another is facing two counts of arson.

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday served 34-year-old Ternarius Cartrell White, of Aleo Sixth Street, with warrants charging him with two counts of first-degree arson in connection to an early morning fire May 17.

Detective Maj. Jay Childers said Monday that the sheriff’s office received assistance from the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation as well as a K-9 from the Union County Fire Marshal’s office.

The East Rockingham Fire Department responded to the blaze on Marigold Street just after 3:30 a.m. Friday where crews found two vehicles — a Chevy Suburban and a Nissan Altima — on fire, according to Assistant Chief Bill Bayless.

The fire also burned the wooden carport the vehicles were under as well as one room on the residence, which was a 24x60 mobile home on a concrete foundation, Bayless said.

Inside that home were eight people, including four children under the age of 18, according to an arrest warrant.

Heat from the fire also melted the siding on the home next door. Warrants show four people lived at that home, including a 2-year-old and 10-month old.

When served with the arson warrants, White was already in the Richmond County Jail, having already been arrested for allegedly carrying a sawed-off Springfield 20-gauge shotgun.

White is charged with one felony count each of possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of a weapon of mass destruction, as well as a misdemeanor count of carrying a concealed gun.

According to a warrant, White was convicted of second-degree burglary in 2005 for an incident the previous year in Chesterfield County, South Carolina.

Jail records show he is also charged with a probation violation and online court records show a pending misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia in Richmond County, as well as a second-degree trespassing charge in Cumberland County.

White is being held under a combined $250,000 secured bond and is scheduled to appear in court June 6 and in Cumberland County July 18.

Records with the N.C. Department of Public Safety Division of Adult Correction show White was convicted March 6 of delivering or selling a Schedule II controlled substance and given an 18-month suspended sentence. 

All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.