One of the suspects in the Jeannette arson case is out of jail and told Channel 11 News Thursday that he’s innocent.
Christopher Jones is charged with setting a fire in 2008, but because he’s only charged in that case, his bond was much lower than the other suspects arrested Wednesday.
Jones was released from jail and back at work on Thursday when he told Channel 11’s Courtney Brennan his side of the story.
“I moved out of Jeannette three years ago because I knew if I stayed in Jeannette, I’d just get in trouble,” Jones said.
According to Jones, he was at the auto body shop where he works Wednesday morning when police came to arrest him just before 9 a.m.
“I was here working and they all just pulled in and said they had a warrant for me. I didn’t even know it was coming,” Jones said.
Jones said the officers handcuffed him and took him to district court where he and five other suspects were arraigned on felony arson charges.
According to investigators, the six suspects are responsible for the arson spree that plagued Jeannette for four years.
“They’re my past friends,” Jones said of the other suspects. “We all used to ride bikes together and do things like hanging out. Then I grew up and I matured.”
According to Jones, he got a job, started a family and moved to Irwin. He said the last time he thought about his old group of friends was about four months ago when investigators interviewed him about the arson spree.
“I told them I didn’t know anything and then they went into further details about the fire that started four years ago and it all came down to something that I saw four years ago. I never said anything. I never even went into the house,” Jones said.
Police said Jones is responsible for one arson in 2008, but he said Thursday he didn’t set that fire and he never expected to be accused.
Jones also told Brennan that he doesn’t know what the others’ motivation was to set the fires, and he didn’t think they were capable of setting that many.