A longstanding dispute leads one Jacksonville man to set an Eastside home with three people inside on fire.
61-year-old Cecil Hepler died in the fire, which happened in the early morning hours of September 8th at a home on Spearing Street. Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Assistant Chief Chris Butler says Hepler was related to people who had been in a physical altercation with the suspect, 52-year-old Jimmie Rae Jackson Jr., in 2008.
“The suspect was actually seeking vengeance when he set the home on fire,” Butler says.
Butler says they were recently tipped off to investigate Jackson and when he was questioned yesterday he reportedly confessed to the crimes.
Two other people, unrelated to Hepler, were in the home at the time of the fire but escaped without harm. Hepler was initially transported to the hospital with apparent non-life threatening injuries, according to the police report obtained by WOKV, but later died.
Jackson is now charged with murder, arson and burglary.