2 men charged with 6 arson fires in Liberal including old High School fire

1 suspect also charged in 4 other fires

(Story is updated with locations of suspected arson fires, information from Jones and court documents)

The Prosecutor’s Office files charges against Nathan L. Jones and Thomas J. Ingram for a recent string of arson fires in Liberal, Missouri.

The Barton County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed 6 counts of 2nd degree burglary and 6 counts of 2nd degree arson against both suspects.

Jones is being held in the Barton County Jail without bond. Ingram is currently held in the Jasper County Jail without bond.

On September 22nd, the Barton County 911 Center got several calls about a possible fire at the Liberal School. When emergency agencies got there, they found the old High School and gymnasium fully engulfed in flames.

Several law enforcement agencies assisted in the investigation.

Authorities got tips that lead deputies to a home on Hill Street in Liberal. Deputies surrounded the home and two people were called out from the home. A third person was later found inside the home after an hour-long standoff and was arrested on unrelated criminal charges.

The two other subjects detained from the home on Hill Street were questioned and later released.

After interviews, authorities got further leads to 27-year-old Nathan Jones at a home on Yale Street in Liberal. During questioning, the Barton County Sheriff’s Office says enough information was obtained to arrest him for further investigation.

Authorities then went to a home on college Street and took 24-year-old Thomas Ingram into custody for burglary and arson.

The two suspects are charged with the following fires:

(9/19/19) 107 S. Payne Street – The building belonged to the Liberal R-2 School District. The building was an old bus barn.
(9/20/19) 309 Walser Street. This is a home and no one was living in it during the time of the fire.
(9/15/19) 401 Walser Street. This fire was in a shed in the back yard of the home.
(9/19/19) 300 Fishback Street. This is a home and no one was living in it during the time of the fire.
(8/02/19) 205 Denton Street. This is a home and no one was living in it during the time of the fire.
(9/22/19) 107 S. Payne Street. This was the old school and current elementary gym.

Authorities say Jones was read the Miranda warning, agreeing to waive his right to an attorney and consented to an interview. According to court documents, Jones “admitted he was with Ingram during the fires and Ingram had threatened to cut his other hand off or kill him.”

Read more from court documents on Jones’ statement here.

The Missouri State Fire Marshall, Barton County Sheriff’s Office and the Liberal Police Department all took part in the investigation.

Ingram is also facing prior arson charges in a separate cases. Ingram and Zachary D. Workman face four counts of 2nd degree arson. They are charged in the following fires:

(6/25/19) 205 N. Denton Street. This was an unattached garage.
(7/03/19) 206 N. Main Street. This was a vacant residence.
(7/04/19) 206 N. Main Street. This was an unattached garage.
(7/10/19) 204 N. Denton Street. This was a vacant residence.

___

Get the latest local and national headlines straight to your email for free: Sign up here.