Woman accused of burning Nacogdoches Co. home, leaving disabled vet homeless

Erin Marie Williams (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Erin Marie Williams (Source: Angelina County Jail)

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A disabled veteran in Nacogdoches County said he's always helped people out. Now he believes one of his good deeds resulted in his home being set on fire Wednesday.

Randy Sherrer, a Vietnam veteran, is now living in a motor home, and the woman he was trying to help is in jail for arson. Sherrer said his home on County Road 419 was burned out last week out of pure meanness.

"All the rooms look like this," Sherrer said Monday as he showed East Texas News the damage to his home.

The alleged arson took place after his act of kindness for Erin Marie Williams, 28, an old friend he hadn't seen in years. He said that he tried to help her and a friend out of a tight spot.

"So I had gone to town, picked them up at one of the truck stops, her and another friend, a lady friend," Sherrer said. "Let 'em spend the night, fed 'em that night."

Sherrer said Williams and her friend were caught stealing clothes and jewelry the next morning.

"And, I figured that's why she was mad and burned the place down because we did threaten to call the police on her, but we never called 'em," Sherrer said.

On Wednesday, the disabled vet was at a Houston VA Hospital for an MRI on his damaged back. While he was away, his stepdaughter drove up on a burglary at Sherrer's residence.

"People were handing her bags of stuff they were stealing out of the house," Sherrer said. "She chased the lady back through the woods about a 1,000 yards back here before she lost her."

Sherrer's house caught on fire Wednesday at 10:19 a.m. His stepdaughter saw Williams in the area, and authorities used that information to arrest Williams on Friday on a charge of first-degree felony arson. She was also charged with being in a place where weapons are prohibited (a third-degree felony), possession of a dangerous drug, and failure to maintain financial responsibility. Collectively, her bond has been set at $87,500.

Williams was arrested for arson several days later. Based on her mug shot, it appears she still had the scratches from the run in the woods when she was arrested. No other suspects have been arrested, but Sherrer now totes a pistol - something totally out of character for him.

"I didn't know what to think about it," Sherrer said, "My world come down."

This patriotic veteran, who flies his father's World War II casket flag, wants to rebuild the home's interior. The problem is disability and social security don't go too far.

"It's gonna be almost impossible, but I'll do it." Sherrer said. "I've got to do it. That's the only thing I can live for."

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