LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WACH) - A Molotov cocktail was used to set a vehicle on fire at the home of a teen witness in a criminal trial last Thursday, according to the Lexington County Sheriff's Department. Three people have been arrested.
Sheriff James R. Metts says the vehicle was set on fire around 3 a.m. Thursday, July 12.
According to authorities, Robert Fletcher Herbert, 42, of West Columbia is awaiting trial on charges that he used a stolen pickup truck to break open the rear door at a gun business on March 29 on Emanuel Church Road near West Columbia. He is accused of stealing eight handguns worth around $4,220 from the business.
The sheriff's report states that Fletcher, along with his live-in girlfriend's son, 19-year-old Deandre Ball, are accused of using a Molotov cocktail to set a vehicle parked outside a West Columbia home on fire. A 16-year-old, who will be prosecution witness in Herbert's criminal trial on charges connected to the burglary at the gun business, lives at the home where the vehicle was set on fire.
Herbert was arrested Saturday, July 14 on charges of third-degree arson, intentionally detonating a destructive device and intimidating a witness in a criminal court case. He was being held Tuesday, July 17 at the Lexington County Detention Center on bail totaling more than $1 million.
Ball was arrested Thursday, July 12 on charges of third-degree arson, conspiring to execute a bomb threat, and intimidating a witness in a criminal court case. He was also being held at the Lexington County jail Tuesday on bail totaling $40,000.
Herbert's girlfriend and Deandre Ball's mother, 39-year-old Lashanda Elaine Ball, was also arrested Thursday, July 12. She is charged with intimidating a witness in a criminal court case. She was released from jail Friday after posting $10,000 bond
Officials with the department say all three suspects previously made threats to physically harm the 16-year-old boy and otherwise retaliate against the boy for providing information to detectives that helped them develop probable cause to obtain arrest warrants for Herbert, who was arrested in connection with the gun business robbery on April 9 on several charges.