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Cross City Man Charged with Attempted Murder, Arson

2/27/2007

CONTACT:   Tara Klimek or Nina Banister
(850) 413-2842
 
CROSS CITY – 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.  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 (1-877-NOARSON).

As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. CFO Sink also serves as the State Fire Marshal.