HOUSTON, TX (KTRE) - Houston County authorities on Tuesday filed a felony arson charge against the 34-year-old Groveton man who tried to get "favors" from a Crockett woman at knifepoint with arson in connection to the blaze that destroyed her home Monday.
Dexture Phipps was already being held in the Houston County Jail on a charge of burglary with the intent to commit aggravated assault when the new charge was added Tuesday. Collectively, his bond has been set at $100,000.
According to a report, the woman, Jessica Amie, arrived at the Houston County Sheriff's Office around 9 a.m. She told law enforcement officials that a man she knew, Phipps, had come into her home without permission, pulled a knife on her, and demanded "favors."
The woman managed to escape, but while she was making the report at the sheriff's office, a fire was reported at her home, which was located in the 1200 block of County Road 4555.
Firefighters from Pennington and Crockett responded to the blaze. When they got there, the home was fully involved, and they were unable to save it. No one was injured in the fire.
Authorities obtained an arrest warrant for Phipps, and they located him in Trinity County. He was arrested and charged with burglary with the intent to commit aggravated assault.
"According to a family member that lives nearby, Amie was able to escape from this house and call authorities, in that Phipps returned her, broke in and set the house on fire," Sheriff Darrell Bobbitt said.
"She drove up really just to report the assault, she didn't know about the fire at that time," Bobbitt said. "She literally saw the guy in her rear view mirror as she drove away."
According to Bobbitt, Amie was in the sheriff's office the moment an immediate family member had called in the incident.
It wouldn't take much for the authorities to tie Phipps to the arson.
"It's my understanding, Phipps himself spoke to a family member from the residence and confessed to setting the house on fire," Bobbitt said.