Cops: Texas Arson Suspect Caught Red-Handed

One suspect was burned on his face and arms when he was arrested.


Jan. 08--Two Midlanders were arrested this week on arson charges after they used a Molotov cocktail to start a fire at an apartment complex, according to court documents.

Kayla Renee Mesa, 24, and Kendrick McLaughlin, 26, were held Tuesday on a $75,000 bond for a first-degree felony charge of arson on an occupied building, according to the Midland County Sheriff's Office and Sara Higgins, public information officer for the city.

Midland emergency personnel responded to a structure fire on the morning of Jan. 1 in the 3200 block of Franklin Avenue.

Firefighters extinguished the fire, which occurred in a storage room connected to an inhabited apartment building.

The MFD fire inspector discovered a combustible liquid in the burnt remains of a plastic jug at the scene. The inspector received a Crime Stoppers tip on Friday that McLaughlin suffered injuries after throwing a homemade Molotov cocktail into the storage room.

McLaughlin and Mesa were found and arrested this week at the Executive Inn, 1000 S. Midkiff Road. McLaughlin had burns on his arms and face. Mesa was identified as a participant in the arson and drove the vehicle used in connection to the arson, according to the arrest affidavit.

The MFD fire investigator told the Reporter-Telegram the incident occurred after McLaughlin and Mesa were involved in some kind of altercation at a Midland bar. He said the structure sustained minimal damage.

If convicted, the suspects face five to 99 years in prison.

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