Domestic dispute turns to arson

Published 11:08 pm Wednesday, June 3, 2009

An alleged domestic dispute over a television program angered a county resident to the point that he allegedly set fire to his home.

The incident took place in the evening hours of Monday when the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department received a call about a domestic disturbance at 20 Green Meadow Place, Lot B, said Chief Investigator Donnie Saucier.

When the deputy arrived, flames and smoke could be seen through the windows of the home. A male subject was observed standing on the porch. He was later identified as Ronald Joseph Bourlet, 45, of 20 Green Meadow Place, Lot B. He was holding a shiny object and making jabbing motions towards his own abdomen, Saucier said.

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After an examination of Bourlet, investigators determined that he had not stabbed himself in his abdomen, but he did have minor scratches on his neck. Bourlet was treated on scene for his minor wounds and for smoke inhalation, Saucier said. Bourlet was taken into custody for his own safety, and investigation and interviews were conducted with the rest of the family.

During the investigation, deputies learned that Bourlet and his wife had engaged in an argument over a television program earlier that evening. The argument escalated into an alleged minor assault by Bourlet on his wife. Bourlet’s wife then left the residence, taking the children with her, Saucier said.

Investigators suspect that a short time later Bourlet set fire to the home. Bourlet was charged with arson, which is a felony. Saucier said Bourlet was not charged with assault since the investigators decided to focus on the felony charge as opposed to the misdemeanor charge.

No charges were pressed against Bourlet’s wife, Saucier said.