Meridian Star

Local News

June 14, 2014

Father of deputy charged with arson

MERIDIAN —     The father of a Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department deputy has been arrested and charged in connection with a March fire that destroyed his son's home.

    James William Wiggins, 50, is facing a charge of arson in a March 12 fire at the home of Deputy Jason Wiggins, whose home burned to the ground while he and his family were out of town.

     Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie said he requested the case by state law enforcement agencies since Jason Wiggins is an employee with the department.  

    "After the initial case was taken, our fire investigators, along with the Lauderdale County Fire Coordinator and the State Fire Marshal, had determined it was an arson," Sollie said. "Due to the relationship of the homeowner being one of our employees, we requested that the State Fire Marshal's Office and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation handle the investigation. They agreed to adopt the case and proceeded forward in their investigation and made a presentation to the most recent Lauderdale County Grand Jury, which issued a true bill of indictment."

    James Wiggins' home was the subject of a "targeted incident" around the time that his son's house burned to the ground. In that incident a black male kicked in the front door and exchanged fire with James Wiggins, investigators said at the time. No one was hit by the nine shots fired. No arrests were made in the incident.

    Wiggins' bail was set at $5,000, but he was later released on his own recognizance.

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