NewsCrime and Courts


Suspect in Missoula arson appears in court

Posted at 3:34 PM, Feb 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-05 18:14:45-05

MISSOULA – A Michigan man made his initial court appearance Monday afternoon and is facing a felony arson charge, along with two misdemeanors, for allegedly setting a cabin on fire on Friday.

Missoula County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a fire near the Buckhouse Bridge on Feb. 1.

According to court documents, deputies were told by a witness after arriving at the scene that they had seen a man shouting and throwing things into the road while smoke billowed from an abandoned structure behind him.

Deputies began a search for the suspect and discovered Thomas Smith walking near a storage facility.

Smith matched the description of the suspect from witnesses and his shoes matched shoe prints from the scene.

Court documents say that Smith was clearly suffering from a mental illness and when police apprehended him Smith said that “you might as well arrest me, I’m guilty as hell.”

Smith has also been tied to vandalism incidents at KECI TV, the Rhino and Taco Johns on West Broadway.

Smith appeared in Missoula County Justice Court on Monday where he was placed on $10,000 bond.

Reporting by Connor McCauley for MTN News