MAN CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER, ARSON
Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who also
serves as State Fire Marshal, said a 43-year-old man who set fire to a
mobile home while his wife was in it has been charged with attempted murder,
aggravated battery and arson.
State Fire Marshal detectives arrested Demps Randall
Rains last Thursday following an investigation into the February 18 fire at
their home at 9472 NE Highway 351, Cross City. Both Rains and his wife were transported
to Shands Hospital for smoke inhalation.
“We will not tolerate violence against our citizens,
and not only was this woman’s life put at risk but also the lives of
firefighters and others who responded to the fire,” said CFO Sink. “We will
do all we can to assist in prosecuting these charges to the fullest extent
of the law.”
Detective Amelia Bowling, who works in the Ocala office
of the State Fire Marshal’s Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations (BFAI),
was the lead detective in the investigation and made the arrest. Detective
Bowling determined that prior to the fire, Rains assaulted the victim,
exited the trailer, and returned with a gas can. Rains then allegedly
poured gasoline in the bedroom where the victim was lying, and set the
bedroom on fire.
Rains is charged with first-degree arson to an occupied
dwelling, attempted murder, and aggravated battery with domestic violence.
If convicted on the charges filed by the BFAI, Rains faces up to 75 years in
prison in addition to potential fines and restitution. An additional charge
of possession of a controlled substance was added by the Dixie County
Sheriff's Department at the time of the arrest.
The Bureau of Fire and Arson
Investigations is a law enforcement branch of the Division of State Fire
Marshal that assists other state and local fire and law enforcement agencies
in the investigation of fires of suspicious origin. Anyone with information
about this case or any incident of fire is asked to call 1-877-662-7766