Weatherford Democrat

Local News

August 23, 2012

Arsonist gets 12 years for business fire

PARKER COUNTY — A man accused of attempting to set fire to his brother-in-law’s business last year received a 12-year sentence in the 43rd District Court Tuesday after pleading guilty to arson.

Dennis Allen Huff, 46, pleaded guilty to 2nd degree felony arson of a building and was sentenced by visiting judge Don Chrestman, Assistant District Attorney Jeff Swain said. He faced a 2- to 20-year sentence.

According to the arrest warrant complaint, Huff was charged with setting a fire inside the American Dream Flag shop in the 4200 block of U.S. Highway 199 East in Springtown on March 21, 2011, causing substantial damage.

Huff used a table to break a window, and mineral spirits and gasoline were used inside the building, according to the court document.

Huff attempted to light the furniture on fire and, though the fire did not spread to the building, it did cause smoke damage, Swain said.

According to the account by Parker County Fire Marshal’s Office Investigator Ken Dabbs, the owner of the business said Huff and his wife were former employees who had left on bad terms.

The investigator was told the family had been in a civil battle since the death of the business owner’s mother-in-law, and the couple was angry the owner’s wife was the executor of the estate, according to Dabbs’ probable cause affidavit.

The wife had reportedly worked at the business until about three weeks prior to the fire.

Huff initially told the investigator he was in North Richland Hills the weekend of the fire, according to the affidavit.

However, after Dabbs reportedly found fingerprints and tire marks matching Huff’s and told him so, Huff implicated himself and said he used the table to break the window, according to Dabbs’ account.

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