Accused arsonist bound over to grand jury

Accused arsonist bound over to grand jury

Just over two months since being charged with four counts of arson and one count of theft of property, an accused arsonist has chosen to waive his right to a preliminary hearing and will be bound over to the grand jury in its May term.

Robert Watrud, who first entered on the court system’s radar on Jan. 10, had another day in court Wednesday afternoon at the Weakley County Detention Center and was bound over to the grand jury at that time.

At the time of the incident – a structure fire occurring at a multiplex apartment unit on 313 S. College St. in Martin – Martin Fire Chief Russell Schwahn, MFD Lt. Todd Prince, Tennessee Bomb and Arson Special Inv. Ron Powers and MPD Inv. Tommy Erwin combined evidence found at the scene of the fire with evidence collected off the site and charged Watrud with intentionally starting the fire. The triplex also housed four other people including a 10-year-old child.

The theft charge was made when Watrud reportedly took a vehicle lent to him by a friend and failed to return it to its owner. 

He instead allegedly set fire to the apartment complex before attempting to make a getaway in the stolen vehicle and he was armed with a small-caliber handgun. 

wcp 3/15/11

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