SAN JACINTO COUNTY, Texas — A Texas man who claimed his house was sprayed with racist graffiti is now facing charges of burning down his own home. Two men, including a family member, reportedly died in the fire, and another person was seriously injured.
A San Jacinto County grand jury returned a true bill indictment against Waterwood resident Mario Roberson, Sheriff Greg Capers told Breitbart Texas on Tuesday. The grand jury charged Roberson with Felony Arson after an investigation by the Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office into a June 10 fire that left two people dead and another seriously injured.
San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers told Breitbart Texas that a warrant for Roberson’s arrest has not yet been issued. “We can’t do anything until we have a warrant for his arrest,” Capers explained. “The best thing Roberson can do would be to turn himself in.”
Roberson claimed earlier this year that his home was sprayed with graffiti that included racial slurs, KTRK ABC 13 reported.
“Racism, power, hungriness, money has gotten us to this place,” Roberson told ABC13 on the day of the June fire. Prior to that, KTRK interviewed Roberson regarding the racist graffiti. Roberson alleged someone sprayed his door with “We don’t like your kind,” followed by a racial slur.
Roberson blamed the Waterwood Property Owners Association for the attack. He said there was an ongoing dispute over short-term rentals in the subdivision.
ABC13 obtained body-worn camera video from law enforcement at the fire scene on June 10.
In it, Roberson is heard telling authorities, “The neighbors called me. I kept hearing the phone ring. She said, ‘Mario, your house is on fire.’ I thought she was playing. She said, ‘Your truck.’ I come over here, and I didn’t expect to see this… Matter of fact, when this went down, I know y’all heard about this racist stuff that was sprayed on my door.”
According to neighbors, the man who survived the fire got out covered in flames. He drove a truck away from the scene and later crashed into a ditch. San Jacinto County deputies found him.
“I stepped in some gas,” the burned man told the deputy. “I’m burned up.”
When asked by the deputy what happened, the man said, “I’m telling you. I’m from Houston. This dude, he told me to bring him out here to Huntsville… He said somebody wants to do a numbers job on a house.”
Roberson faces a first-degree felony arson charge. If convicted on the charge, he could face a sentence of five to 99 years in a Texas prison.