Drifter charged in plaza fire

Full story: Silver City Sun-News

A transient drifter with a criminal history of setting fires and trying to steal trains in Oregon has been arrested and charged with starting a fire early Friday morning that destroyed most of the Hudson Street Plaza.
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1 - 20 of 33 Comments Last updated Jan 28, 2013
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Kim Murphy

United States

#1 Jul 25, 2009
How can someone like this happen to such a great man? My father is a man that gives so much to the community, his church, his family, the music community. I'm sorry to all the others in the building who lost everything along with him. It is a sad time when we must now be suspicious of even vagrants who lay in alleyways because of potential sinister motives. God bless America for the right to burn someones hard work down on a whim. I hope this man, who did ths, is punished for this sad crime in which he stole the hard work and sweat from good people who tried to carve out a living when a country is on its knees.
elkstine

Silver City, NM

#2 Jul 25, 2009
He had a past history in OR. He set as many as 40 fires, why is this idiot still on the streets? He was fined 15 days in jail and a $100.00. What's wrong with the justice system? Because of it, many more people have to suffer. Now he's here and we are going to have to foot the bill to keep he in jail. New Mexico should sue OR for letting this guy off so easy and make them pay for damages. A 3 cent present would put this idiot out of his misery. What would the people of Silver City do to this guy if this were the 1800s? You bet. Get a rope and find a tree.
elkstine

Silver City, NM

#3 Jul 25, 2009
After reading the artical a few more times, it appears the employees arrived at work at 6am and their already taking a break at 6:30, wow. They saw this guy and didn't think to check what he was up to. wow. and by 6:44 the place was a burning inferno. wow
Silver kid

Silver City, NM

#4 Jul 25, 2009
elkstine wrote:
After reading the artical a few more times, it appears the employees arrived at work at 6am and their already taking a break at 6:30, wow. They saw this guy and didn't think to check what he was up to. wow. and by 6:44 the place was a burning inferno. wow
Don't blame the employee's for the fire - luckily they saw the suspect, and in turn; the cops were able to catch him. He's off the street now and that is the important thing. Thank God he didn't have a chance to start one more fire here.
Vagrants roam the streets here in Silver City - are we supposed to call the police every time we see a homeless person? It's so common to see vagrants panhandling at the Wal-Mart, Arby's & Albertson's,something needs to be done but it's an extremely sensitive subject. Time for the citizens of this community to come together to discuss what can be done about the vagrant problem.
my sympathies

Albuquerque, NM

#5 Jul 25, 2009
Kim Murphy wrote:
How can someone like this happen to such a great man? My father is a man that gives so much to the community, his church, his family, the music community. I'm sorry to all the others in the building who lost everything along with him. It is a sad time when we must now be suspicious of even vagrants who lay in alleyways because of potential sinister motives. God bless America for the right to burn someones hard work down on a whim. I hope this man, who did ths, is punished for this sad crime in which he stole the hard work and sweat from good people who tried to carve out a living when a country is on its knees.
Your dad kept such a wonderful store where I, a Border Area employee would visit on my breaks to admire the musical instruments, music and to visit with the kind gentleman. Please encourage him in this time of chaos. I was happy to be a customer of his shop from time to time.
Norma

Albuquerque, NM

#6 Jul 25, 2009
The picture taken at the end of the building next to the bridge has a beautiful rainbow in it. My son named the picture as, "the beauty and the beast."
Dew Little

Albuquerque, NM

#7 Jul 25, 2009
Arson fires, drive-by shootings, bombs exploding, Silver is reverting to its "wild-west" roots. Its come full circle..from cowboys, Indians, Mexicans, Chinese and wild-ass miners to hobos and tramps, past the hippies, Viet Nam Vets, and rednecks, and right back to cowboys, Indians, Mexicans, and wild-ass miners. Not so many Chinese anymore.but the "established" citizens of Silver City have always had to deal with transients as well as fringe elements of its own society.
Paula Geisler

Las Cruces, NM

#8 Jul 25, 2009
Why should this scum-bag get 3 hots and a cot for committing such a heinous deed? I say string him up...right in front of the courthouse! Lets bring back frontier justice...an eye for an eye. This is one crazy messed-up world when criminals get rewarded for harming innocent people. If jerks like him want to loot & pillage, make them join the army and get sent to the front; they can help search for land mines.The punishment should fit the crime.
Rice

Albuquerque, NM

#9 Jul 25, 2009
Paula Geisler wrote:
Why should this scum-bag get 3 hots and a cot for committing such a heinous deed? I say string him up...right in front of the courthouse! Lets bring back frontier justice...an eye for an eye. This is one crazy messed-up world when criminals get rewarded for harming innocent people. If jerks like him want to loot & pillage, make them join the army and get sent to the front; they can help search for land mines.The punishment should fit the crime.
An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind
Chris

Silver City, NM

#10 Jul 25, 2009
Lock him up, toss the key down the sewer. This man is way too dangerous to ever be out in the public again. It should have been done a long time ago -- this town needs its small businesses, espcially the music store. There are few places where music students can purchase music, instruments, accessories.
SC Resident

Albuquerque, NM

#11 Jul 25, 2009
Unfortunately, this individual is probably going to end up in District Court on a psych evaluation order from Magistrate Court before a preliminary hearing is ever held. That means the District Court will likely enter an order sending him up to the behavioral health unit in Las Vegas NM, where he could remain indefinitely until it's determined whether or not he's competent to stand trial. By this time, months if not years will pass before this arson case is ever brought to trial, if it even gets to that stage. Just look at the Dawna Cantrell case -- she killed her husband in 2003 and her final judgment was entered just this last week. Wow, an entire six years later. Now that's judicial efficiency at its finest. Even then, she plead guilty but mentally ill and she doesn't have to serve a day in prison. In fact, her 18-year prison sentence was suspended, as well as over $22,000 in fines. Oh, and she gets to continue living in the state of Oregon. Geez, I wonder if we have some sort of reciprocal agreement with Oregon? They get Cantrell, while we end up with this arsonist. Oh, but I do feel much better knowing that Ms. Cantrell still has to pay her $5 domestic violence treatment fee to the state of New Mexico. I'm sure that's a real deterrent for anyone thinking of committing a crime. It sounds more like a slap in the face to victims everywhere. I hate to say it, but the reality is that justice is not going to be served in this case. My sympathies go out to all of the business owners and victims of this horrendous act. My heart is filled with sadness and I pray that the citizens of Grant County will pull together to help you get back on your feet.
Local Boy

Albuquerque, NM

#12 Jul 26, 2009
This guy is a homegrown product of Grant County. He's not from Oregon.
Local Boy II

United States

#13 Jul 26, 2009
Yes, he is indeed from Silver City. Troubled, he has a history of heinous trauma and mental illness. A real sad story. Evidently, he's not received the help he's needed along the way. Maybe some of you remember his aunt and guardian Liz Gary, who was on the Town Council until she moved away? This is a very unfortunate situation but also a reflection of our lack of resources and attention to this population.
Local Boy III

Albuquerque, NM

#14 Jul 26, 2009
Local Boy II wrote:
Yes, he is indeed from Silver City. Troubled, he has a history of heinous trauma and mental illness. A real sad story. Evidently, he's not received the help he's needed along the way. Maybe some of you remember his aunt and guardian Liz Gary, who was on the Town Council until she moved away? This is a very unfortunate situation but also a reflection of our lack of resources and attention to this population.
His mother still lives in Grant County. He did not get the help he needed along the way.
Mary Bourn

Mimbres, NM

#15 Jul 26, 2009
Too bad taxes can't afford quality education for our young people rather than feed, clothe, and house perpetrators for the rest of their lives at taxpayer expense!
Elkstine Sr

Albuquerque, NM

#16 Jul 26, 2009
elkstine wrote:
After reading the artical a few more times, it appears the employees arrived at work at 6am and their already taking a break at 6:30, wow. They saw this guy and didn't think to check what he was up to. wow. and by 6:44 the place was a burning inferno. wow
Work starts at 8 so I'd guess they could do yoga for 2 hours if they wanted to. Do you really think approaching the suspect would have been a good idea? That would have put the employees right in harm's way and confronting a deranged individual in the middle of a burglary armed with a Molotov cocktail or whatever accelerant was used...doesn't sound like a good idea to me.
Observer

United States

#17 Jul 26, 2009
I think what Elkstine meant was that if they saw him back there and he may have looked suspicous wouldnt you have investigated after he left? I mean if you spotted some homeless guy hanging around your house you might go and check out if he had been up to anything? I would. As for all of this I hope we can clean up the streets of some of these vagrants. I understand some have mental illnesses but as for the hippies and beggers hanging outside of the walmart parking lot, what are they bringing to this town other than an eyesore? Start enforcing the laws, but I guess maybe the police are too busy talking on their cellphones as they drive around town to do anything but harrass people with out of state plates.......

Since: Jul 09

Everett, WA

#18 Jul 26, 2009
Observer wrote:
I think what Elkstine meant was that if they saw him back there and he may have looked suspicous wouldnt you have investigated after he left? I mean if you spotted some homeless guy hanging around your house you might go and check out if he had been up to anything? I would. As for all of this I hope we can clean up the streets of some of these vagrants. I understand some have mental illnesses but as for the hippies and beggers hanging outside of the walmart parking lot, what are they bringing to this town other than an eyesore? Start enforcing the laws, but I guess maybe the police are too busy talking on their cellphones as they drive around town to do anything but harrass people with out of state plates.......
hmm
huh

Albuquerque, NM

#19 Jul 26, 2009
does anyone know where this joshua grey is from? is he a local?
Elkstine Sr

Albuquerque, NM

#20 Jul 26, 2009
Observer wrote:
I think what Elkstine meant was that if they saw him back there and he may have looked suspicous wouldnt you have investigated after he left? I mean if you spotted some homeless guy hanging around your house you might go and check out if he had been up to anything? I would. As for all of this I hope we can clean up the streets of some of these vagrants. I understand some have mental illnesses but as for the hippies and beggers hanging outside of the walmart parking lot, what are they bringing to this town other than an eyesore? Start enforcing the laws, but I guess maybe the police are too busy talking on their cellphones as they drive around town to do anything but harrass people with out of state plates.......
the fire started minutes after he was spotted...again putting the employees at the sight of the reported explosion....still not a good idea

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