2010
12.15

Today at 2 PM the LaFayette Police Department will host a live press conference to announce the arrest of a suspect involved in more than twenty arson fires set over the last five years. The arrest takes a dangerous serial fire-starter off the streets, but he’s not the only one involved – and his arrest happened purely by accident.

It’s no secret that LaFayette has for many years had a serious problem with intentionally set structure fires. Residents on the west side of town have noticed a fire problem on and off for almost three decades, with a burst of activity beginning in 2007 and lasting until this week. Most of the fires set in the last three years have been in Linwood, a formerly independent mill town that was dissolved and annexed into LaFayette in 1992.

When annexation was first proposed the city of LaFayette vowed to treat Linwood residents like anyone else in town, but afterwards those promises dissolved quicker than monday’s snow. Since 1992 Linwood has been treated like a forgotten child with neglected roads and inadequate policing, so it’s no surprised that a rash of fires originating within that community was barely even noticed for several years. In 2010 alone at least eight homes in Linwood were burned to the ground on purpose, but none of those fires were given much attention – until May when the arsonist ventured outside his usual territory and burned down two homes east of the railroad tracks.

As we noted back in May, arsons weren’t worth the police department’s time or energy as long as they only involved abandoned homes in neighborhoods where “those people” live – but once the fires moved into “respectable” neighborhoods LaFayette’s leaders had to begin showing concern.

After the May fires, LaFayette Police Chief Tommy Freeman admitted arson is “an ongoing problem” and vowed to do something about it. He called in state investigators and reminded citizens of a potential $10,000 reward – but did little else. LaFayette Underground investigators pointed out a teenage suspect who had bragged of setting the fires, but that suspect wasn’t arrested at the time and continued to set fires all through the summer and fall months.

(In that earlier article we hinted at the suspect’s name, tried to give someone a Chance to catch him, and even linked to an article that revealed his identity – but didn’t reveal his name outright due to fears of liability if he was never caught. At this point we’ve gotten independent verification from so many sources we feel comfortable in revealing that our original juvenile Linwood Arsonist suspect was 16-year-old Chance Ellison of North Steele St. If Mr. Ellison feels we’ve named him in error he’s welcome to contact our lawyers, and we’ll contact his.)

In September two homes on Fortune Street and North Steele Street were burned with little or no media attention. A few weeks later, in early October, a century-old home at 201 South Steele was purposefully torched. Unlike previous victims, the owners of that empty house (who were remodeling it) complained to the media and got their story in the Chattanooga news. That briefly raised awareness of the problem, but still no arrests were made and the fires continued.

On December 6th two fires broke out within 90-minutes of each other on opposite sides of town. Both were located outside Linwood, one at 511 West Main Street across from Second Baptist Church and one at 1688 W. North Main near Blossman Propane. As usual, both were unoccupied older wooden structures, and both were a total loss. Because of the weather we speculated at least one was related to homeless people or squatters trying to keep warm on one of the coldest nights of the year, but the LPD quickly ruled both fires intentional and called in the federal government to help.

A Chattanooga Times Free-Press article after the fires said there had been more than thirty arsons in LaFayette since 2005. That story also quoted LPD detective Stacey Meeks confirming a “juvenile suspect” that local residents blame for the fires (the same juvenile we pointed out back in May) but said so far the suspect hadn’t been connected to “a specific crime.” In other words: we all know who it is, but we can’t prove it in court.

Meanwhile, in seemingly unrelated events, the city was also being plagued by a number of high-profile vehicle thefts. Around the beginning of December, officer Meeks (pretty much the only investigator left since the department had demoted, fired, or run off everyone else by that point) warned residents to lock their car doors in response to 20 or more vehicle robberies on the west side of town. He blamed those burglaries on the Christmas season and said the LPD couldn’t stop them with increased patrols because of how widespread the thefts were.

But yesterday, December 14th, the department actually arrested 4 or 5 juveniles in connection with the break-ins. That crowd of notorious teenagers included our previously-named 16-year-old suspect. An Undergroundling got a tip about the arrest Tuesday morning and posted a short comment about it on Facebook and here on the LU site. The child was charged with 18 counts of burglary the vehicle thefts and one count of tampering with government property – but not with any of the arsons.

However, his likely involvement with the arsons was revealed later in the day when the LPD announced they had arrested an arson suspect. The suspect arrested wasn’t a juvenile and wasn’t our boy, but we suspect he was identified when our named suspect was questioned by the LPD. Several who know the 16-year-old say he’s avoided well-deserved legal punishment many times before by ratting out others after being arrested. It’s not much of a stretch to assume he squealed like a pig when officers brought up his role in the arsons – a role first pointed out by the Underground back in May.

No juvenile can be imprisoned past their 18th birthday unless tried and convicted as an adult. But Walker County’s juvenile criminals have an easier time than most by appearing before Juvenile Court Judge Bryant Henry – a man who never met a child he couldn’t set free in a ridiculously short amount of time. So with little to lose for a confession, and likely offered lighter charges for pointing out someone else, the juvenile apparently threw his fire-setting partner under the proverbial bus. When confronted the adult suspect caved and began to admit his role in at least 20 fires over a five-year period.

Police sources reveal that the arrested suspect is 32-year-old Marvin Chase. Chase is a volunteer with the LaFayette Fire Department and has likely been on most of the crews called out to fight fires he intentionally set. Until recently Chase was also an employee of the LaFayette Water Department – a position that might have let him know which homes in town had their utilities disconnected and were empty – easy targets to rob and burn. Mr. Chase currently lives on Patterson Rd. on the east side of town, but grew up on North Steele Street in Linwood, a few blocks away from our named juvenile’s home and in the center of LaFayette’s arson activity.

LPD officials announced the suspect’s arrest but have not yet publicly revealed his name or his former position with the city’s water department. That news is reserved for a press conference scheduled for 2 PM Wednesday at the LPD. That conference will be covered on local TV and undoubtedly give Chief Freeman and Detective Meeks ample opportunity to take credit for tracking down the arsonist and solving the crime of the week, even though they found him by accident after arresting a bunch of punks for breaking into cars – and likely would have never questioned the 16-year-old about any fires if we hadn’t pointed him out back in May.

It’s an overall good thing for LaFayette that Mr. Chase and the juvenile thieves and vandals have been arrested because it may end the city’s fire problem for good and will certainly reduce crime, at least until the teenagers get out of jail in a few months. But that good can’t overshadow just how poorly the LPD handled its investigation of the Linwood arsons. The department ignored LaFayette’s fire problem for several years and only did a cursory investigation when fires moved closer to the center of town. That attitude of apathy cost the city more than a dozen homes, thousands of dollars in damages, and several injured firefighters – and could have cost actual human lives if the arsonist hadn’t finally been caught by accident.

Public Safety Director and Police Chief Tommy Freeman, who joined the LPD in 2007, bears primary responsibility for deficiencies at the department. His priorities have never been to take care of crime problems on the “bad” side of town, and he provides no support to the officers who try to. The city’s original arson investigator worked on the case for quite a while, but finally resigned a few months ago after realizing how little Freeman actually cared about fighting crime. Officer Robby Tate was also involved in some of the arson investigation, but was demoted over the summer and lost his job earlier this month because he dared to criticize the police chief. (Tate was reinstated during the December council meeting, report on that coming soon.)

Quality investigators are dropping like flies at LaFayette PD, and most of them are dropping because of how they’re being treated by the department head. With a demoralized, unsupported, and some say “imploding” police department it’s no wonder the city’s crime has gotten so bad – and will certainly get worse without a change at the top.

Tuesday’s arrests mean the City of LaFayette is better off today than yesterday, but don’t let media attention and public praise of police leadership distract from the truth: Chief Freeman doesn’t care about LaFayette or its residents; without stupid kids deciding to steal Christmas presents out of cars, the Linwood Arsonist would still be walking the streets.

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96 comments so far

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  1. 1688 W.North Main street is the address of my old home place and that is where I grew up. It hurts to know who done it!

  2. LU, I salute you.

  3. Wow! I cant believe this! I went to school with Marvin and he also coached my boys basketball team when they were small. I just seen him at ACE hardware Sunday night and talked to him. He was working there, which was odd to me because I know that he used to work for the city. I am glad he is off the streets now. I do feel really bad for his wife and children, ecspecially this time of year. We should keep his family in our prayers, because of what they are currently going through, and will be going through in the future.

  4. Its NOT the teens getting into cars!!!!! Or at least its not teens over in west Lafayette. Something stinks about this whole deal and I’m not sure what it is, but somethings amiss.

  5. Well BamBam…if it’s NOT the teens getting into cars, then we (or–more appropriately–L.U.) would like to know a little bit more on just exactly how you are certain that it isn’t. :)

  6. Not every teenager looks like a teenager – some of these 16 and 17 year olds I see around have lived a pretty hard life and look grown. I’ve also heard of some adults involved in the robberies, and for all we know Mr. Chase was doing some of that as well.

    More thoughts about this case: Mr. Chase is the second City Utility employee in two years to be caught involved in crimes that might be related (or possibly helped by) their position with the city. A year or two ago somebody at the power department shut off electricity on the north side of town so he could break into a business, and now Mr. Chase is on the hook for setting fires.

    They’re doing the press conference now with more details, and there are some comments in the paper slamming us for calling out the wrong person as their suspect.. We’ll update again once the news reports stop changing.

    — The LaFayette Underground

  7. Is there a link on the news station webpage to see the press conference live or what there is left of it? Sadly, we don’t have our t.v. hooked up yet due to moving to a new place and I can’t see the conference. Thanks for the help…!

  8. LU,
    I don’t know why they were slamming you. Seems to me you were spot-on!!! Even the part about them all standing there patting themselves on the back and acting all warm and fuzzy about themselves. Maybe Mr. Meeks wants to just give off the vibe that he doesn’t pay attention to what is posted here, or maybe he said that at the direction of his boss!!!
    Anyway, glad the dude is not out here burning up houses. It is only a matter of time until he moved to occupied homes.
    The fire starter lives for the view of the dragon, and the combat of extinguishing the beast. Not only that but Most Firefighters are arsonists at heart, or arsonists with a conscious depending on how you look at it.

  9. It is ironic that the Messenger is using the very picture that you posted on here this morning. I guess that pay attention too!!! LOL!!!

  10. I mean no offense but how is it a slam on LU? The way I took it was that they were actually giving props to the site and recognizing this as a news source. If they were calling you out for the teenager issue then take it as something to learn from. An actual newspaper cannot name names until everything is backed up and accounted. This site calls out the Messenger all the time and they dont get to bask in the cozy warmth of anonomity like you do. They get called onto the chopping block all the time regardless of how the story was written up in the begining and how it is edited and put together later by totally different people. I like to read this site!!! Don’t be so touchy!! It means more readers!!! It means more people reading a different point of view, which I guess is what I have when it comes to this. Keep up the hard work!!! People are reading!!

  11. Meeks specifically pointed out “local blogs” being wrong and the Messenger reporter said our name.. But you have a good point, we can look at it like friendly competition from the Catoosa Messenger. Plus WE know we’re right, because there’s a lot of stuff floating around we can’t use yet. Meeks is a fool and trying to look like he did something here when he didn’t do much of anything… Update to this article coming later today.

    — One of Those Local Blogs That Gets Everything Wrong a/k/a The LaFayette Underground

  12. I think everyone (including myself) would be surprised at the things that actually do go on within the police department when cases are supposed to be investigated. This might especially be true when those cases end up with other people getting media coverage, credit, and the proverbial “good ole’ boy slap on the back for a job well done” when in all actuality they have (and HAD) no clue about the cases that they are supposed to be investigating. I mean, we have been assured time and time again that we are protected as a community by the men and women within the department and on the force (as well as other local agencies), but look at the number of people who have issues and have put trust and faith into officers only to end up getting no help at all.
    If so many people would stop trying to get media attention and start attempting to make this community something to be proud of AGAIN, then we might not HAVE to have an UNDERGROUND in LAFAYETTE. But, for now, I think whoever it is has the real and true intention of helping and not hurting. (And it is meant with only respect and care that I say that, L.U. Besides, you’re smart enough to know the use of semantics.) :)

  13. Maybe I’m daft, or I just haven’t had enough coffee yet, but I’m not seeing or understanding the connection between a string of teenage car break-ins and a 32-year-old guy coming out as the Linwood Arsonist?

  14. Oh wait, I got it now…the kid and Chase were in it together, but the kid ratted out Chase to get a lighter sentence on the break-ins? Crazy.

  15. …and if that’s the case, what’s a 16-year-old doing hanging out with a 32-year-old?

  16. Jebb:

    This 16-year-old is a notorious drug user, thief, and general punk.. Has been involved in a lot of stuff. If somebody’s up to trouble in LaFayette he’s probably involved in it with them.

    — LU

  17. Jessica you don’t need coffee hun, there is no connection between Chase and a 16 year old kid. LU is on the outside looking in and they think they have everything figured out. Keep digging boys maybe some day you will get something right.

  18. WENDY, I should have been more specific earlier today,what i meant about the car theft issue was that not all of the robberies(or at least on the westside of town) was the work of “a group of teenagers”…..I know of several 30-40 year old suspected theives and one of whom was acknowledged by a former detective as being 100 percent guilty of car thefts, only they couldn’t do anything about it unless they pretty much caught him red handed (he had already been snitched out but they couldn’t get any evidence to support it even though he is a former convicted theif…duh!!!!!!!) but because the LPD caught these teenagers all of the robberies around town will be blamed on them and swept under the rug leaving the other low-life thieves still on the streets……….that’s why i say something still stinks about the whole thing…sorry for any confusion!!!

  19. Marvin Chase did not grow up on North Steele Street. He in fact grew up in Linwood on King Street.Maybe LU needs to check his facts. Maybe he is wrong on other facts too.

  20. Collins: Chase’s parents lived on N. Steele about 10 years ago per an article in the Messenger. He might not have lived every minute of his life on Steele but he has family ties there and King St. is essentially the same thing, it’s in Linwood running east to west instead of north to south. There have been multiple fires on King AND Steele.

    If this is the only thing you found to pick at in our article I guess we’re doing pretty well.

    — The LaFayette Underground

  21. ThiefWatch
    There is a band of thieves led by a tall, long-haired dude named Scott Rhodes(sp) who steal from the Care Mission, Attic Treasure, and Goodwill every night of the week. Mr. Rhodes sells the stolen goods (which are donations to help the truly needy) at the Flea Mkt across from the GoodWill. I have personally seen him steal on 3 occasions and others have caught him in the act. The LPD ignores this commerce because it is on the west side of town and not affecting their personal interests. He would be easy to catch, but gets a free pass due to the LPD. Shame on these so-called protectors, and shame on the bums stealing from God’s provisions.

  22. That’s not completely true. I saw that guy taking thinks from the Goodwill one day and stopped officer Tom Kendrick to let him know. He went and made him put everything back. Look there is good and bad people EVERYWHERE, police departments, fire departments, churches, and businesses. I don’t think it’s fair to lump all people together just because they live or work together. Now I’m not denying that LaFayette Public Safety is not run poorly, anyone can see that, but to say that all are bad because they work at the same place is a little unfair…it’s really about 25 % good and 75 % bad.

  23. Made him put everything back??? What happened to arresting thieves? How ridiculous that is if it’s the truth. God help us all.

  24. What about it Tom Kendrick? I know the whole LPD follows this blog. Did you let the fish off the hook?

  25. Nope, but apparently I know more than some.

  26. Hey, if you are such a big fan of saving the world and can do better get a badge and have at it…it’s much easier to sit back and criticize others. By the way LPD isn’t the only people that check this site out from time to time.

  27. What makes you think I don’t have a badge? Sounds like you are quite a fan of the LPD. I have done nothing but state facts, and here you are jumping down my throat. I’m on the streets of West LaFayette EVERY single day of the week, and I know what I’m talking about. This is my last response to you as it’s apparent that you don’t have a clue.

  28. Well i have had all i can stand so here it is LU – First of all when you first came online, i actually supported you and read your blog almost daily. You made some very valid points and discussed issues that i thought everyone wanted to discuss but had no forum to do so. You touched on topics that were too ” sensitive” for traditional news outlets and i applauded you for that. However as of late you have seemed to become VERY inaccurate with your stories. That has led me to DOUBT your material and your sources. For what ever reason YOU seem to have some type of personal vendetta against me and the LaFayette Police Department. It seems that you can very freely dipense criticism but can’t seem to take it when others point out your faults. It is easy to be an armchair quaterback. It is easy to be a critic and quite the critic you are. I dont know if you ever do much reading but PLEASE read the famous quote by former President Theodore Roosevelt entitled “The Man In The Arena.” In this work President Roosevelt talks a lot about the CRITIC and how in life the CRITIC does not count, for you see, the CRITIC simply has no merit. The true credit belongs to the MAN in the Arena. The one who DARES to enter into the endeavor and try valiantly, risking everything for what he believes in. You see the CRITIC does not put everything on the line for causes. The CRITIC does not bleed, sweat and shed tears for what he believes in. The CRITIC simply does not have the courage to get into the arena and fight, he will instead stand on the sidelines and point out every mistake made by the MEN in the arena who are actually trying. I could not think of a more perfect illustration of you LU- You are the CRITIC so well described some hundred years ago by President Roosevelt. Now that that is out of the way, let me say that The LaFayette Police Department has not arrested any so called group of ” 4-5 Teenagers” recently for breaking into vehicles. You are wrong on that assessment so PLEASE check your sources crediability before you accept everything they disseminate to you because you are civilly liable for what you publish. Oh- but thats right isn’t it- no one knows who you are… So given those circumstances it is EASY to be a CRITIC and “BIG TALKER.” You have posted numerous times accusing this INNOCENT teenager, even boldly and specifically naming him. There again you are such a BIG MAN. However you were wrong. I think that you personally owe this young man and his family a great apology. Furthermore you should print a retraction admitting your mistake. There again that is what a real MAN would do though. This may come as a shocker to you but just because everyone on the street may think a person is an OFFENDER and point fingers and judge them, they sometimes are not. You see things aren’t always as they seem. In the REAL WORLD we have to look through all the smoke, which are assumptions and see the facts. We must have something tangible, something called EVIDENCE. EVIDENCE is what leads to PROBABLE CAUSE which in the judicial world leads to an ARREST, which is what we have made. The arrest had nothing to do with the mysterious group of 4-5 teenage hooligans that was supposedly arrested by our department for breaking into all the vehicles because that is all fictitious and made up..If you or any reader doubts it then PLEASE by all means come by the Police Department and ask for STACEY MEEKS and i will be more that glad to pull up our arrest report, since it is after all public record and show you in Black and White that these so called arrest are totally fabricated by the LU. We have never arrested them so there again you have a very unreliable and inaccurate source. LU i issue you a challenge, You know who i am… I live at 114 North Azalea Drive and my personal cell number is 423-280-1465. I have nothing to hide and i have the COURAGE to take responsibility for everything i say..You see that is what being a MAN is all about.. So if you really want to facilitate true meaningful change in our community that you so adamantly speak of, then ‘MAN UP” and PERSONALLY contact me by way of the above mentioned data or at the Police Department. I would love to have you step out of the shadows and into the arena where you can make some real change…

  29. So are you one of the 30-40 year olds (age group from BAM BAM post) breaking into cars while you are on the streets of West LaFayette EVERY single day?

  30. There it is folks, get you some of that. Strap it on and go to war or stand in the shadows and quiver. The hammer has been dropped.

  31. THANK YOU THEIFWATCH !!!! That post about the goodwill theif hits the nail on the head. There is way more crime in this town than should be allowed and the officer just brushing him off sounds accurate…every time I have had to have an officer assist me they acted like I was a huge inconvenience……..I believe you should never bite the hand that feeds you or better yet the taxpayer that pays your salary!

  32. IMABE said;
    “Now I’m not denying that LaFayette Public Safety is not run poorly, anyone can see that, but to say that all are bad because they work at the same place is a little unfair…it’s really about 25 % good and 75 % bad.”

    Can you elaborate on how you’ve determined this figure? That’s a pretty strong accusation.

  33. It sure is easy to make all these accusations when he hides behind the computer. I would say that he would surely regret stepping into the arena with a man such as Stacey Meeks. All this L.U. guy is, is a coward. Also, I beleive he has a lot coming to him.

  34. WOW…………

  35. …and we all know what a real man Stacey Meeks is. Just ask one of the many women in LaFayette that didn’t “see through all the smoke.”

  36. Meeks..kelly…cliff…what color knee pads you guys want for christmas? I know the ones ya’ll have now have got to be worn out!!

  37. I’m with crazy but I know….. U guys must need some new ones by now… Pretty in pink…. I love the arena thing there meeks…funny thing… Ur not the man in the arena either. Just cuz u have a badge…ha ha… Takes more than just talk to be a cop…. I personally know several cops.. Some still working, some retired….and they are the good guys….. U bring them shame sometimes…. God bless…

  38. AMANDA HATCHETT CONTACT ME: AMANDA_HATCHETT@HOTMAIL.COM

    I KNOW A BUNCH OF SHIT ABOUT walker county and bribes. and me and lindsay purcell know a bunch of shit about LHS AND LMS

  39. Why don’t all you guys who post all the negative comments use your real names- Cowards..If you are bold enough to make a “statement” then PUT YOUR NAME WITH IT…

  40. I wonder how the city lawyers and prosecutors feel about the badges engaging in these blog exchanges while they have a fresh case pending? This can’t be healthy for the real work of prosecution. Also, mentioning this blog in a press conference was a dumb thing to do. I never knew this place existed until today, and I’m sure it will gain in popularity as the days go by. Sometimes it’s best to let a sleeping dog lie, instead of feeding your carnal “arena” nature. It appears that the floodgate has been opened.

  41. Wow, I’ve always liked Stacey and Benji, I remember them being nice to me since childhood, but Stacey that was very brave to get on here and say all that. Kudos. If there is anyone who are in the police department for the right reasons, it’s you guys, and I hope there are more of you.

    I’ll still read LU as long as I’m here, though. It’s entertaining. Hopefully you guys are on the same side…because inaccuracies will happen anywhere, and even if LU is a Stephen Glass-type person (not saying he/she is), I don’t care as long as it’s making people start to pay attention to what’s going on and are working to make this city a better place. Because I don’t know hardly anyone who actually thinks Lafayette is a great place to live. But, maybe with this community of people wanting change, it could be.

  42. I can only imagine the glee a defense attorney gets from pages like this. Here you have the lead investigator (I think that’s right?) prefacing his ramble with “I have had all I can stand”, and then calling everyone “cowards”. This all makes for good impeachment of credibility. Then you have little tidbits of info concerning the actual investigation popping up here & there. This is early Christmas for some folk.

  43. This aint no suprise to me and the family the police department has always seem devided up. the policemen dont get along and for good reasons. the policemen that was their years ago and know a lot get pushed aside and the new cops that suck up to the cheif move closer to the top because of it it has nothing to do with how they do their job or experence or any of that. thats why most of them just go their for a paycheck now. you can get demoted for not likeing someone or not get promoted if you dont like the chief. insted of being rewarded for years of experence and service you get passed up by the one that stayed at the police station talkin to the fire people and settin on your but. the police station is as bad now as public works was when that richard asshole was over that. the city manadger always backs up the department leaders because he hired them all from out of town. if they want someone fired its easy now because they are buddys. i agree with the 25-75 percent if not badder than that. i got family their i know and here about it all the time. if cars get broke in no body cares at the police station they just write a report and its over no fingerprint check or nothin. no body in the town thats importent cares about them in west lafayette ether. they say its wurse over their. say they never see any body but that cop with black hair and glasses thats been their for a long time about 50 years old. he is a good cop is what the family says he trys to help but by hisself it is hard. help us all lafayette is goin down in a hurry

  44. If a juvenile was arrested would the name appear in “black and white” on the public arrest record referred to by Stacey Meeks? If a person acts as a confidential informant does his name appear on the arrest record? Still, it appears that another individual has confessed to these fires. That is pretty compelling. Maybe there are juveniles involved as well. If that is the case, and this 32 year old man is taking responsibility and cooperating with authorities, then why wouldn’t he mention his multiple co-conspirators? He is certainly aware by now of the potential decades of incarceration he is facing for these offenses. That being said, I don’t find Mr. Meeks’ comments on here to be illegal. Interesting? Yes. In bad taste? Perhaps. What concerns me is his tone. It is blatantly confrontational. I don’t fault him for being upset by your article, or your site, but it inalienably your God-given right to express your opinion about the fires, the investigation, the whole situation, if you that’s what you want to do, whether you are wrong or right. What bothers me the most about the lawman’s aggressive rant, is the CassiusClay-ness (there’s a new term for your glossary, LU) of the whole thing. It sounds more like a bully telling you to meet him in the parking lot at 3:00. The fact that he lists his personal phone number, address, etc. and his usage of the terms “Man up” and “Be a Man” give me – or any reader- a little bit of incite into his thought process. His point may have been valid, but I fail to see even a hint of professionalism or the humility a public servant ideally would retain, in the way he expressed himself here. His comments were over the top. It is clear to me they were made in an emotional state. I can appreciate that and his attempt be articulate, but there was definitely a higher road to take.

  45. I’m with you, Float Like a Butterfly…I understand his anger, but maybe it was a bit out of line. There’s no need for name-calling and all of that. If you want to be taken seriously, there’s a certain way you need to carry yourself. And if anyone wants LU to go away, the best thing you can do is ignore him/her. All this bickering is just adding fuel to the fire (no pun intended); if LU was running ads on his/her Facebook and this site, he/she’d be laughing his/her way to the bank right now!

  46. Everyone please chill out and quit talking bad about eveyone and everything. Quit casting stones, look.at urself in the mirror and pray for one another.

  47. We’ve never claimed perfection – please remember this is not a newspaper or TV station, it’s an amateur blog run by unpaid volunteers. Since day one we’ve said corrections will be made if necessary, and that policy still applies even here. There are some errors in this article, things we’re researching and investigating with some sources. There may be some corrections in what the article says, but also corrections or clarifications for what others have said, and discussion about how the public has reacted to the article. Because of how heated debate has gotten we’re going to kick back and enjoy the snow day and then put up an additional article when people have settled down a bit.

    Please note, as we work hard to be as accurate as possible, that nothing in the original article or in any comments from the LU makes personal attacks against anyone at the LPD or within City Government – we try to limit observation to how people handle their public jobs, not how they handle their personal lives except in situations where the two collide. There’s no personal malice meant towards anyone mentioned in the article and we’d appreciate if all readers would try and maintain a similar attitude towards our Undergroundlings and others who participate in the site and its Facebook companion.

    Today the LU site received more than 2,200 visitors and we gained over 100 friends on Facebook. We appreciate the surge in interest and support (much of which came from comments made by police officers reacting to this article), and hope those who came for this one particular post will stick around for others. If you’re new, please go back to the very beginning and weigh this site as a whole instead of judging it by a single post. The beginning begins here: http://www.cityoflafayettega.com/2008/07/manifesto/ .

    Enjoy your snow day, drink a warm beverage and try to stay warm. Remember those who don’t have warm homes or adequate heat during the winter months. We’ll have something else for you to read soon. Thanks for reading.

    — The LaFayette Underground

  48. Just like the arsonist was allowed to continue as long as he burned houses across town, nobody cares what L.U. does until hey cross the tracks and get a little too close to home.

    We’ve seen it from just about every issue that has been covered: Your name, or the name of a relative or close friend comes up, and suddenly L.U. is a coward, a libeler and a jackass.

    I understand. Nobody likes the light to get too near them. It makes us uncomfortable. We may have to answer questions, fend off accusations, endure insults. Our reputation is tarnished (if just the slightest bit) when one we are associated with is exposed.
    But you know what? That’s life! If you’re over ten years old, you’ve dealt with these things before.

    Is L.U. a coward for not revealing his\her name? Let’s say yes. But let’s also be consistent and call police officers cowards as well. After all, they take measures to protect themselves from those who would do them harm. Why can’t they take off the bullet proof vest and remove the sidearm and step into the arena like a MAN?

    Now I don’t think anyone would agree that police officers are cowards because they employ some measure of protection. They put their lives on the line to protect us, and some of those who hate them would go as far as murder to get away with their crimes.

    So why do some consider L.U. to be a coward for protecting him\herself? L.U. may not be a police officer, but what they do is still a service to the public. Exposing the misdeeds of those who have power (or those who think they do) is not going to make them popular with everyone. We know that L.U. and associate have received threats of voilence. Do you really believe that they should provide their identities, which these days is enough to find out nearly every detail of their lives, just because they said something that hit too close to home?

    If so dangerous, why does L.U. do what they do? Because when one’s misdeeds are exposed, it make that person more cautious about commiting those deeds again. When you know the office is aware you have been stealing supplies, you’d be more reluctant to continue. Only we’re not talking about office supplies, but our livelyhoods, our money, and in some cases, our lives.

    Take a look at American history to see how necessary people like L.U. are. Particularly the foundation of our nation. Did our founding fathers not point the finger squarely at Great Briton and King George for their crimes? And what did they get in return? War, bloodshed, and eventually, freedom.

  49. All I can say is hmmm!!!! I understand Stacey’s frustration about some of the posts, but let me assure you of some things…

    1)to LU. I know Stacey personally… He is as stand up a guy as you are going to find here or anywhere. Anyone who understands procedural law knows that it is not what you believe, or know to be true. It is what you can prove in court to be true. They have to have all of the facts before they can go forward. Arson by far is one of the hardest crimes to prosecute. It is nearly impossible without a witness or a direct connection to the crime, because it leaves very little evidence. Maybe he did use some of the info that you have provided, and as a good investigator would, investigated to make a case.

    2)To Lucas and all the others calling Stacey out I would submit that you really don’t want to have Stacey take his badge off and climb into an arena with you.
    YOU WOULD LOSE!!! END OF STORY.

    Yeah, Stacey is my friend. And he is a dang good one. With the exception of Kelley and Hicks, I don’t know a whole lot about the others at LPD. But those guys are all good professional officers.

    With that being said, I am enjoying the banter back and forth here. It is almost as entertaining as watching cars sliding down the road.

    Coolest quote on this thread though was, “The fire starter lives for the view of the dragon, and the combat of extinguishing the beast.”

  50. so then, what i’m pulling away from all the new comments that stands out to me the most is this: There have been No arrests in the string of car burglaries.

    Really? Seems like there is plenty of information out there. I’m concerned about the crime rate in LaFayette. We are such a small town and yet have made national news so many times for the crap that goes on here.

  51. Jay, you hit the nail on the head. The police department, as well as any other citizen, has limitations. They can’t just go arrest someone on a tip. There needs to be uncircumstantial evidence for an arrest. Otherwise, they can only question the individual and send them on their way. I know of incidents that go on in this town that affect me personaly, but I have to sit tight until that day of reckoning. It will happen. Stacey, you know Im with you 100%. LU im still a reader.

  52. Congradulations Stacey. It took guts to say what you said. Semper Fi brother.

  53. @Wayne Winters: it sure did! I don’t know of anyone brave enough to get on a public forum and make a total asshole of themselves. What a brave, brave soul………

    And Mr. Meeks, as an officer of the law I respect you. But I must say that you are making yourself look like a complete JERK!. Your “groupies” are NOT helping your cause either. I have seen NOTHING in this article that is insulting towards YOU in any way. I have no idea why you decided to get so defensive about this. Have you even read it???

  54. –>2)To Lucas and all the others calling Stacey out I would submit that you really don’t want to have Stacey take his badge off and climb into an arena with you.
    YOU WOULD LOSE!!! END OF STORY.<–

    That's nice. But I don't recall "calling Stacey out". In fact, I didn't mention him at all.

  55. If you’re skeerd of making a statement and usung your real name maybe you shouldn’t make it in the first place.

  56. Look I grew up in Linwood . I know both of your suspects. I agree that there has been many fires over the years . I also know that the town has been neglected by the City of Lafayette since the early 1990’s,including the policing and up keep. I honestly do not think for one minute had the fires not gone across the tracks then nothing would have ever been said ,confession or a tell all chicken teen or not. The city does not give a damn about Linwood or the people who live there.Given that we are “those people”. I am in no way taking up for the accused or confessed. There are some good people who live there.However bad things look in and around Linwood it goes without saying that there are criminals in the city too,only difference is the city is ashamed to let you know the real criminals that walk among you.Also Marvin Chase was a grown man 10yrs ago he did not live on North Steele St and its not the same.

  57. I’m pretty much sick and tired of being sick and tired. I didn’t even read much of any of this negativity. It was mentioned over on FB to watch out because of this and that, yada, yada, yada. I speak my mind and encourage others to do the same. All this back biting has got to stop. I feel like I’m back at Bowman’s Kindergarten. I don’t hide either. I’m too big and old. Anybody that knows me, knows I’m too lazy to actually to write more than a couple a paragraphs. So everyone one remember, “It’s Christmas time in Hollis-Queens..”

    BTW- The only reason I even posted anything because I received a phone call saying that someone was calling me out. Just to let everyone know no one is calling me out.

  58. @wayne winters……………….It took guts to post a gripe session on a public forum directed toward a person whom you don’t even know?????????……um???…OK??? I have always thought Stacy Meeks to be a pretty good guy but my god…..I thought his post was pretty childish and as an officer of the law he should be be a little more reserved than that mess. I understand that alot of crap has been said about him but really???………..was all that really necessary? I would have tried to contact L.U privately by email to try to figure out what the malfunction was before I stepped into “THE RING”

  59. Lucas, just referencing your remark, “Why can’t they take off the bullet proof vest and remove the sidearm and step into the arena like a MAN?” That is all… No disrespect meant towards you, if your words were taken out of context.

  60. If Chase Ellison was not arrested, then please explain why he told everyone that he got away with everything except 30 days of boot camp that he is to submit to immediately? He laughed about it. Sounds to me that the LPD needed him to disappear so he could not blow the publicity they were fixing to get. Explain that.

  61. The La Fayette Police Department has been corrupt for as long as I can remember.

  62. Three comments: First, everything I know about Stacey Meeks is that he’s a good man and a diligent police officer. Second, while I certainly cannot vouch for all the conclusions or even the “facts” presented in this blog, I really appreciate the detailed reporting and spadework that goes into the articles. Third, I wonder if some of the more vocal critics on this blog would have considered the famed “Publius” of American history a coward for not revealing their identity. You can read the collected works of Publius, it’s now called the Federalist Papers and after the Constitution and Declaration of Independence it is the most important and influential political documents ever produced in our country. The reason that the writers remained anonymous was to both protect themselves so that they could continue with the work and remove the personalities from the debate. Not that the L.U. is on the same level…but maybe for Lafayette these debates are pretty important.

  63. Travis always wins in the comments department. He always sounds so level-headed and says things that resonate with me but doesn’t sound like a total hippie, like I know I probably do! I miss your sermons.

  64. As far as the comment on Stacey Meeks goes, if he was such a “good cop” he wouldn’t have arrested my girlfriend with no grounds to stand on and made her spend the night in jail for not doing anything. They found what she supposedly stole the next day exactly where we said it was and he even tried to use my recently deceased mother against me when he interrogated me. I used to hold respect for him, but not after making my girlfriend spend a night in jail and after the things he said to me. He walks away every time he sees me and her now instead of apologizing or anything.
    But back to the topic at hand, have you gotten anymore updates for this entry since you posted it that hasn’t been put into the comments section? I live in West Lafayette and would really like to know more about this. I of course read the messenger and have been trying to find more elsewhere but its roughly the same information, it just depends on the way its written, and I like the LU style much more. Thanks for keeping us all updated.

  65. Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody is going to know whether you did it or not. -Oprah Winfrey

    The literary tradition of anonymity goes back to the Bible. -Joe Cline

    Greatness is anonymity, to be anonymous is a great thing. The great cathedral, the great things of life, great sculpture, must be anonymous. They do not belong to any particular person, like truth. Truth does not belong to you or to me. It is totally impersonal and anonymous; if you say you have got the truth, then you are not anonymous, you are far more important than truth. But an anonymous person may never be great. Probably he will never be great, because he does not want to be great, great in the sense of the world or even inwardly because he is nobody. He has no followers. He has no shrine, he does not puff himself up. But most of us unfortunately want to puff ourselves up, we want to be great, we want to be known, we want to have success. Success leads to fame, but that is an empty thing, is it not? It is like ashes. Every politician is known and it is his business to be known and therefore he is not great. Greatness is to be unknown, inwardly and outwardly to be as nothing, and that requires great penetration, great understanding, great affection. -Krishnamurti

  66. my name is wendy ellison. I am chance ellison’s mom. He is a MINOR and has no business on this web page. I do not care what he has done. whoever the linwood Informant, my son name is chance ellison not chase ellison. so you must not know him very well. The LPD had nothing to do with chance going to court and” Making him disappear”. Apparently you either have false information or something is not right. so all you people need to mind your own business. worry about raising your own kids not other peoples.

  67. Yes, why are you posting stuff about a 16 yearold boy? It is none of your, nor anyone elses business in this town. So get a life L.U and move out of Lafayette! Nobody wants you here crying about how bad you think our town is, If you don’t like it, then move. You won’t be missed, and I can promise you that.

  68. I say just the opposite … if you don’t want to read the negative about LaFayette then don’t look here. You have that option, just turn your computer off and shut up. This town is crawling with mismanagement, wrong-doing, and corruption. What you’re suggesting is censorship, and you are apparently wrong in your declaration that “nobody” wants to hear from LU. Just go back and read all the posts and see how many support this. I have spent my entire life in this town and I know what goes on in the backrooms of law offices, and also how phony people are when it comes to the truth. I say tell it all brothers & sisters, tell it all.

  69. And for the love of pete, please don’t quote that phony witch Oprah Winfey as a beacon of integrity. You are really digging in the dirt with that move. Oh Boy!!

  70. I know the 16 year old ya’ll keep talking about. I have known him & his family for a very long time now. The boy is not a bad person, he had it ruff growing up. Now i’m not saying he is guilty or not because I honestly don’t know. But LU, could you not have waited until the boy is actually proven guilty or not before you go posting his name & address on the internet? There was no need for that. It sounds like to me you really have it out for this boy because you said there was other people who did it but you haven’t posted their names or street addresses. Why is that?

  71. yeah, he sounds like a great kid……………….

    A LaFayette woman said someone entered her vacant residence on Fortune Street and stole an angel lamp, a hair dryer, washing machine, a box fan, an electric blanket and two televisions.

    According to LaFayette Police Department reports:

    On March 3, the woman made the report of the theft, where someone cut several electrical cords from multiple appliances and stole the items.

    Authorities eventually arrested Chance Ellison of North Steele Street in LaFayette for the crime.

    ……….which reminds me, since he’s a minor, should the Messenger also have been attacked for printing his name?

  72. **Completely Off-Subject**

    @QCH Sorry. :// It just seemed like the right quote in the moment. Google spat it out at me and it seemed to fit. I didn’t background check miss Oprah or anything before I posted it…so the “phony witch” part didn’t really stand out at me considering I don’t even watch her nor bother to. My bad?

  73. i know chance, the messanger is being attacked for putting his name in the paper. i saw chance today he is not in boot camp someone seriously has their facts wrong. i am related to chance and just want to say he hasnt been arrested or in boot camp. yall people seriously need to get a life if you have nothing to do but sit around and make up stories about sixteen year olds. the messanger was also wrong about him beeing arrested for the break in he was not arrested. he’s not a bad kid just misunderstood.

  74. –>he’s not a bad kid just misunderstood.<–

    Kids these days… They should come with detailed manuals.

  75. Misunderstood??

    That’s all he needs, is people like you enabling him. It sounds like he needs to do some time to me. There will be consequences for the young man’s actions one way or another. He will face legal actions or some other “misunderstood” person will kill him one day. That’s the way the world functions in most cases.

  76. I am not a regular reader of these blogs. I only signed on to read because I was told of the comments being made about a close personal friend of mine Stacy Meeks.I dont usually participate in these things, but could not sign off without saying some words on his behalf. Altough I am admittedly bias I read his blog and did not feel that the school yard bully comment was justified, nor did I feel he was overly aggressive just passionate about his opinion as many of you are. I am not qualified to comment on many of the subjects being argued about on here, but as for Stacy’s character I am. He has been a friend my family since I was a child. He always been a great friend to me and has helped me through some rough times before. I know for a fact he has went above and beyond before to help some families in need. I personally saw him out of his own pocket buy cloths for a young man who could not afford it. That way he could compete in a tournament with the proper cloths. Just remember people you never really know someone until youve walk in their shoes. I have known Stacy for awhile and have never saw him be nothing but honorable, respectful, and show a caring heart. Thank You for your time.

  77. He has to be above this blogging as a public servant, and moreso with ongoing prosecution at stake. Sorry, but that’s part of the job. You have to take it on the chin sometimes and keep your trap shut. If he can’t help himself from interjecting then he probably should just not log-on to this website. Thin skin does not make for a good cop.

  78. Well, I just saw Scott Rhodes(sp) stealing from the Attic Treasure donation box in broad daylight with traffic going by, and people watching him from the Dari-Dip. He has gotten bolder & bolder due to the lack of police in this matter. He carried the loot straight across the road and started selling it at the flea market by the GoodWill. I stopped in the street and blowed my horn at him, but he just kept right on stealing. What a pathetic excuse for a police force. Does anyone know who owns the parking lot by the loan company where they have the flea market? I wonder if the owner knows this thug is stealing from the Care Mission, GoodWill, and Attic Treasure? These donations are God’s provisions for the benefit of true needy people … not a young, and perfectly healthy thief. Shame on Scott and shame on the LPD for not stopping him.

  79. Walker County Tax Assessor say’s a fellow by the name of Terry Corbin does…..

  80. So, I assume TERRY CORBIN, if he owns the lot knows Scott because Scott cuts the grass down there in the summer. I wonder if TERRY CORBIN knows that Scott is using the lot to fence stolen property? If he does, shame on TERRY CORBIN too. If he don’t know, he needs to know. The LPD is apparently not able to crack this caper, yet it wouldn’t take much effort. I figure they won’t arrest Scott because he don’t have money to make bail and/or pay any court costs or restitution. It’s all about money, not the fact that laws are being broken. If TERRY CORBIN doesn’t own the lot, my apologies to TERRY CORBIN.

  81. I have known Scott Rhodes and never known him to steal. I’ve seen him paint in high dollar houses and nothing came up missing. I have watched him work at low pay just to pay off his debts. I find this hard to believe. As to the LPD, they could care less if you can or can’t make bail. Thief watch if you witnessed this crime why didn’t you make a citzens arrest, call a cop or walk in the Attic Treasure and report this heinous crime.

  82. I did report it to the Attic Treasure. They said they knew for a fact he was stealing, and have reported it to the LPD more than once and was told they couldn’t do nothing about it. I have seen this thief on 3 separate occasions at Attic Treasure and GoodWill stealing.

    He is a THIEF, it’s that plain and simple. You can defend him if you choose, but that will not change the facts. You make it sound like this thug is a hard working man! If you think money does not play a factor in who goes to jail, you are badly mistaken. A bum is a drain on resources, and that’s why they get a free pass.

    You should get a job on the LPD, as you would fit right in.

  83. They also (Attic Treasure) said one morning they found Scott in the donation box passed out drunk with an empty bottle of vodka. A real upstanding citizen, eh?

  84. You need to sleep under a bridge, cold and hungry for a about a week, because you don’t have a choice. You might re-evaluate your high and mighty attitude…………..

  85. Don’t have a choice! Are you crazy? The man has a choice, he could choose to work and join society. Your attitude is exactly what’s wrong with this country. The man can afford vodka and video rentals (he told me one day that’s what he needed money for), yet he can’t afford food & shelter! What he needs is Jesus, as I guarantee you Jesus would tell him to “go, and sin no more”. Go ahead and defend him, while you’re at it look up the word “enabling” and see if your picture isn’t there in the dictionary.

  86. Due to my intimate relationship with the Almighty, you may rest assured that he does not know you. He plainly states his assembly line does not produce your particular model. If, for some unknown (?) reason you slipped through the cracks in Q.C., a factory recall on you is definately in order………

  87. My picture is not in the dictionary. My atitude has nothing to do with the wrongs of our country. As for Jesus, he would say that right along with “He who is without sin cast the first stone”. My point is I have never seen him drunk or stealing but if he has the problems you rant about, wouldn’t it be the Christian thing to offer prayer or a helping hand instead of denigrating the man in a public forum? Can you spell HYPOCRITE?

  88. Talk about self righteousness! You two are indeed holy, holy, holy!

    These donations he is STEALING are Gods provisions, and the proceeds are used for the truly needy, not the truly lazy. So, in your eyes it’s ok to steal from God? What a bunch of nonsense. I do believe Oprah Winfrey has possessed your souls!

    Thou Shalt Not Steal. God said through King Solomon that if a man would not work, he should not eat. Propping up, and enabling wrong behavior has NEVER fixed a problem. If people would read the Word & do what it says they would not have to resort to thuggery.

    Funny how people will defend thugs and thumb their noses at the laws (God’s laws) when they have nothing better to do.

  89. Theif-man, you’re so easy, you ‘aint even decent fun. Do everybody a favor and spend more time in your church of choice and less time on this blog/forum worrying people with your judgements.

    I close with a plagiarised quote. ” There is nothing in more dire need of reformation than “other” people’s bad habits.”

  90. Technically it isn’t stealing when the stuff is left on the side of the street. Until the donated items are taken into the facility its free to anyone who walks by.
    I feel bad for Scott — he has had some rough times — I know he hasn’t handled it the best but still… Before you criticize someone you should walk a mile in their shoes.

  91. He steals from a bin with a sign on it that states “Anyone caught stealing from the donations will be prosecuted.” It’s in a closed bin on private property, not “on the street”.

    I was homeless back in the 70’s when it wasn’t warm & fuzzy. When you would get prosecuted or shot for stealing. I decided I didn’t like either option, so I went to work.

    Prop him up, glorify yourselves in your “works” as you make yourselves feel like you’ve really helped a thief out by defending his thuggery.

    There you have it kids, if you don’t have a job in LaFayette it’s ok to steal. The police don’t care and the liberals will defend your thuggery to the bitter end.

    Funny how you liberal “lukewarm” christians will throw stones at me for “throwing stones”.

    Hypocrites? I say yes … and I know I’m right!!

  92. Although repulsed by the trash I’ve seen on here, not only in the article itself, but also in the comments from the self-proclaimed “educated citizens” of Lafayette, I felt I should interject my own opinion on this subject. I agree that the side of Lafayette that comes from “the wrong side of the tracks” so to speak does get ignored on several counts, not just the police department. However, to make a personal attack on an officer of the department is disgusting to say the least.
    I know Stacey Meeks, and while he and I may not have always seen eye to eye on things, he is a good man. Enforcing the law is far more than simply flashing a badge and arresting everyone. Certain procedures have to be followed and when they are not, cases are blown and all the “positive change” that (to use the psuedonym that seems most popular) LU proclaims to be wanting would not be achieved as the people responsible would be allowed to continue to roam the streets due to defense attorneys relying on technicalities (like incorrectly applied procedures) to get an aquittal for their client.
    I heard about this site and was reading through it with the hope of seeing some of the more popular families that seem to run Lafayette with their cliqueish behavior put in their place and the change that LU seems to advocate actually happen, but this is nothing of that calibur. This site seems to be no more than a forum for middle-school level backbiting and un-educated, irresponsible bashing done by people who have neither the knowledge nor the right to say half of what is said. LU, after reading your “mission statement”, I have to say that you have a reason to worry about retaliation and personal loss, because anyone who cowardly attacks good people in the fashion in which you have usually does suffer retaliation and personal loss.
    LU, when you have a degree in Criminal Justice, have a badge, have walked the streets with said badge for a year or two, and have been through even half of what most officers have, then come back and interject an opinion or two. But for now, your words are more hurtful to yourself than the people who you seem to be aiming to injure, as they show not only how cowardly you are, as Officer Meeks pointed out, but also how uneducated and immature you are.

  93. This is off subject but i got to say it. the police officers are not always to blame for the problems in lafayette. one reason for slow response times and lack of response all together is the 911 center. i know for fact there was several times the 911 center was called and it took the lafayette police officer 10 minutes before the call went out to them. how do i know this might be your question. i was the one that called from my brothers house. i also own a scanner and had it programmed to hear the call go out. i wonderd if it woul ever go out because it took so long. then one time i called and they was never dispatched at all. i had a scanner and the call never went out so i know. it was finally radiod out after my second call but it took 5 minutes on the second time before anyone was called. years ago a good man named Roger worked for lafayette police as there dispatcher. he would dispatch the call as it came in i even had him tell me to hold on til he could tell the officers where I lived and he would tell them the problem as they were on there way. we need that again

  94. >>LU, when you have a degree in Criminal Justice, have a badge, have walked the streets with said badge for a year or two, and have been through even half of what most officers have, then come back and interject an opinion or two.<<

    That's great. You have to earn the right to have an opinion!

  95. Their is a little boy that was 8 years old, he is 10 now that was molested several times, by Jimmy Hunter and a man in your position screwed up so bad, that he only got 2 years detention center and 20 years paper on a first defenders act!? (IF) I personally was to commit a crime in that nature I do life in Prison: with dectives like that and the history of police department: I don’t see no FAIRNESS OR JUSTICE IN THAT. if you have any question”s or comments call anytime ill fill you in 423 400 7198

  96. More than a year later, Marvin Chase is up for trial. LPD only managed to get eight charges against him, saying the others couldn’t be brought forward because the property owners haven’t been found. His attorneys have been talking to the media, and here’s something interesting the defense attorney said to the Messenger:

    “An unidentified witness provided the ‘missing link’ in the case, according to West, supporting local law enforcement suspicions that pegged Chase as the alleged arsonist.”

    This is what we’ve been saying… LPD didn’t think this case out and find him through investigative work, they arrested somebody else (we named a juvenile) and the other person ratted on him for a deal.

    The attorney also essentially admits that Mr. Chase did confess but thinks the confession should be thrown out: “In the next two weeks, West said he plans to file a motion to dismiss the indictment and a motion to suppress Chase’s statement to investigators.”

    The Chase family has been saying there was no confession, but even the man’s attorney admits one exists. How it was obtained and if it’s usable is another issue entirely.

    They always remind us he was a city firefighter, but none of the reports ever mention he also worked for the LaFayette water department.

    http://www.atwalkchatt.com/view/full_story/17580288/article-Former-LaFayette-firefighter-accused-of-arsons-wants-trial-moved?

    — LU