Hearing date set for man charged in Dripping Springs arson


by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News and photojournalist MICHAEL MOORE

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE


Posted on January 3, 2013 at 7:57 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 3 at 8:05 PM

AUSTIN -- Joseph Alan Carnahan remains in Hays County custody on charges of arson and two counts of criminal negligence and endangerment of a child.

The crimes goes back to the night of December 16th, when authorities were called to a structure fire at a home on Ranch Road 12 in Dripping Springs.

A woman, who was house-sitting for the owner was found dead in a second floor bedroom.

Her name has not been released. Neither has her cause of death.

According to arrest affidavit, the woman had Carnahan over the night before and Carnahan brought his 12-year-old twin sons.

Carnahan and his sons were not there in the morning when officials were called to the fire.

The affidavit stated Carnahan started each fire by lighting toilet tissue in the victim's bedroom and in the living room area.

The information was obtained through a forensic interview with Carnahan's two sons. The sons also told interviewers that Carnahan took items from the house and loaded them into his vehicle and left.

One of the sons said he was sleeping in the downstairs living room and was awakened by loud banging noises.

He said he could "smell the alcohol because there was so much."

Minutes later he said he could hear "all the popping and there was fire upstairs and downstairs."

The boy also said "they got the key pad to the gate and opened it just in time."

The boy said they were going to call the fire station but saw the fire trucks drive by. He said they traveled to the gas station to put gas in the car.

The affidavit states that containers of possibly ignitable liquids were found at the fire.

Carnahan remains in custody at the Hays County Law Enforcement Center.

A hearing is set for January 14th.