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Arson Suspect in Advance Auto Parts Fire Denied Bail: I-Team Investigation

Arson Suspect in Advance Auto Parts Fire Denied Bail: I-Team Investigation

The recent suspected arson at an Advance Auto Parts store in Reisterstown has led to the arrest of a suspect, 19-year-old Elijah Morgan, who faced a judge on Thursday. If found guilty of setting the fire, Morgan could potentially face a 30-year prison sentence.

During the bail hearing, the judge denied bail for Morgan, citing him as a threat to the public’s safety. Neighbors expressed mixed emotions about the situation, with some calling for help and understanding for the suspect instead of a lifetime behind bars.

Police charging documents and insider sources from the investigation highlighted two key factors that raised suspicions on Morgan’s involvement. Surveillance cameras within the store captured footage of Morgan entering a back storage room twice, with his exit marked by a hurried departure and the reflection of flames appearing on camera.

Investigators believe that the fire originated from the storage room where Morgan was seen, and they initially connected him to the incident due to his suspicious behavior on the night of the fire. This included pacing in the parking lot, asking self-incriminating questions, and even taking photos of the firefighters at work.

Morgan’s statement to the detectives provided insight into his state of mind on the day of the fire. He revealed being overwhelmed with stress and anger as it marked the one-year anniversary of his mother’s death on June 19. He admitted to experiencing anger attacks, leading to memory lapses, and while he couldn’t recall how the fire started, he acknowledged the possibility of being responsible for it.

The fire resulted in injuries to a firefighter when a ceiling collapsed during the incident. The prosecutor brought this up during the bail review, underscoring the severity of the consequences caused by the fire.

According to court documents, Morgan expressed that he never intended to harm anyone or destroy the business. Instead, he considered the fire as a cry for help, given his mental state at the time.

A preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for August 11, where further evidence will be presented as the investigation continues. The case sheds light on the importance of addressing mental health concerns and understanding the underlying factors that can lead to such incidents, ensuring community safety and justice for all parties involved.

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