District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that Herman A. Thomas (44) of Bogalusa pleaded guilty Monday (April 16, 2018) to aggravated arson and of simple arson (8 counts) for igniting a series of fires in Bogalusa in 2016 and 2017. District Judge William “Rusty” Knight sentenced Thomas to six years in prison with four of the years suspended.
The case drew the attention of the ATF and the State Fire Marshal. The last fire was set on November 8, 2017, in a vehicle next to a home on Adams Street. The home owner was sitting on her front porch with friends, when Thomas walked up and told them that he had seen “a couple of black males” trying to steal something from the vehicle the night before. When Thomas walked to the car with another male, they found the car filled with smoke, and burning newspaper was removed from underneath the seat.
Investigators determined the fire to be arson and zeroed in on Thomas as a suspect. When they interviewed him about the arson, he admitted setting the Adams Street fire, as well as the seven others.