Three inmates set a fire in the Pulaski County jail. They were charged with Arson after law enforcement found video surveillance of the inmates setting the fire and after another inmate told officers about a conversation he overheard.
Michael Elmer, 32, of Waynesville, Steven Hilton, 28, of Farmington, and Dustin Maust, 28, of St. Robert, were charged with Arson in the first degree.
According to court documents, someone reported a fire in the shower area of the Pulaski County jail July 3, 2018 at 9:31 p.m. Personnel from the Sheriff’s Dispatch and Corrections and 51 incarcerated inmates were inside the building at the time of the fire.
The fire was determined to be incendiary, originating on the ceiling near a fire suppression sprinkler head, according to the documents. Light weight combustibles used in setting the fire and insulation material in the attic were damaged from the fire. The sprinkler head and metal material were also damaged as well.
Law enforcement looked over video surveillance and found Elmer, Hilton, and Maust entering and exiting the shower room. A few minutes later, the video showed smoke filling the room and the sprinkler head activating and going off.
According to the probable cause statement, video surveillance showed an inmate named William Hammock in the recreational room near the shower room. Officers talked with Hammock; Hammock told law enforcement that he overheard a conversation between Elmer and Maust during dinner. Elmer and Maust allegedly spoke about “breaking sprinkler heads in the ‘walk’ of the jail. Hammock stated they were going to use the ‘Boat’ (used as a cot for sleeping) to break several sprinkler heads.” Elmer and Maust were allegedly “upset for not having e-cigarettes off of commissary.”
Officers checked the two inmates’ accounts and found each did not have enough money to purchase e-cigarettes.
Two inmates were injured from the fire and the emergency evacuation.
Each of their bonds is $75,000 cash or surety.