Grand jury indicts suspect in Willard High School arson

A Willard man accused of starting a fire in a Willard High School bathroom has been formally charged with aggravated arson and vandalism. Brandon Lewis, 18, 500 block W. Emerald St., faces as many as eight years in prison after officials say they caught him on camera setting fire to a towel dispenser and the contents of a wastebasket.
Sandusky Register Staff
May 14, 2010

 

A Willard man accused of starting a fire in a Willard High School bathroom has been formally charged with aggravated arson and vandalism.

Brandon Lewis, 18, 500 block W. Emerald St., faces as many as eight years in prison after officials say they caught him on camera setting fire to a towel dispenser and the contents of a wastebasket.

He appeared Thursday in Huron County Common Pleas Court with a public defender. He pleaded not guilty, and his $50,000 cash bond was continued, despite a request for a lower bond. He's scheduled for another hearing June 14.

Video surveillance at the school showed a young man entering the high school through an unlocked side door and roaming the halls.

He pulled on multiple doors, apparently trying to gain access to the classrooms, but they were locked.

The man then entered the bathroom and left 30 seconds later, as smoke streamed from the bathroom. He fled, but school staff members identified him after reviewing the security tape.

Lewis, who dropped out of high school during his junior year, evidently didn't realize the school was outfitted with cameras, officials said.

Police arrested Lewis at his home and during an interview he allegedly admitted to the crime. He did not provide a motive for his actions, Holden said.

An indictment is a formal charge and does not denote guilt or innocence.

Other indictments handed down this week in Huron County:

* Eric J. Long, 22, 200 block Concord Court, Norwalk, one count burglary

* Jared A. Wimer, 23, 200 block Center Street, Sandusky, one count theft

* Kai P. Manner, 24, 2500 block 13th St., Sandusky, one count theft

* Jason E. Brokaw, 26, first block Grove Ave., Norwalk, one count theft of motor vehicle, one count failure to comply with order or signal of a police officer; one count theft

* Quran W. Bowman, 33, first block Glover Ave., one count possession of cocaine