Meridian Star

April 2, 2013

Woman indicted for arson

By Brian Livingston /
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     A Lauderdale County woman has been indicted on arson charges in connection with an incident in June 2012.

    Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department Capt. Casey McElhenney confirmed Monday morning that Sue Ellen Rash, 23, of 5050 Fisher Road, was indicted on two counts of arson. Rash was served the indictments Sunday and was processed through the Lauderdale County Adult Detention Facility.

    She is currently out of jail awaiting her arraignment, McElhenney said. The indictments were handed down by members of the January Lauderdale County grand jury.

    McElhenney said the charges stem from an incident that reportedly occurred on June 15, 2012. Volunteer firefighters were called at about 10 a.m. to Rash's mobile home she was renting on Valley Road. McElhenney said Rash, family members and at least one child were in the residence at the time of the fire. No one was injured.

    McElhenney said in response to witness statements, fire investigators launched a probe into the cause of the fire. McElhenney said a substance that could be used as a fire accelerant was allegedly discovered during the investigation.

    "Arson cases are unique in that they take quite some time to gather the evidence from the scene, have it analyzed and then match the statements of those involved with the case we are building," said McElhenney. "We then take that case with all the information and test results before a grand jury for them to make their decision whether there is enough to go further."

    Although McElhenney could not go into the specifics of the case or expound on the type of accelerant that allegedly was used, he said the information was such that the grand jury members felt there was enough evidence to issue the indictment.

    Rash's court date has been set for May 20.