Two additional suspects, including a second Birmingham police officer, have been charged in the ongoing Ensley arsons investigations, Birmingham Police announced Friday.
The BPD West Precinct officer charged Friday has been identified as Jason Arnold, a 35-year-old man from Hoover. He joined the Birmingham police force in April 2009. Arnold was taken into custody between 3 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. Friday, June 15 while he was on duty. He was booked into the Birmingham City Jail at 3:54 a.m.
Arnold is the second West Precinct officer to be charged in connection to the arsons. Another BPD West Rrecinct officer, Curtis Thornton, 27, was charged June 1 in connection to one of the Ensley arsons.
The second suspect charged Friday is Anthony Weaver, a 48-year-old man from Birmingham. Weaver is not a Birmingham police officer or employee with the City of Birmingham.
"The investigation has progressed well as we continue to dig deeper into this arson investigation," BPD Police Chief A.C. Roper said. "We are still chasing leads but the evidence thus far has led us to arrest another officer. I am pleased that our investigators are representing the department with professionalism and honor as they conduct a methodical and comprehensive investigation."
A total of 14 arson cases in the west Birmingham area are being investigated. Police say the fires were set between May 9 and May 21.
Arnold and Weaver are charged in connection to setting the fires reported in the 2000 block of Ensley Avenue and the 2000 block of Warrior Road, BPD spokesman Sgt. Johnny Williams said in a release. Thornton was charged in connection to a fire set in the 1000 block of 29th Street in Ensley.
Arnold's bond has been set at $150,000. Weaver's bond is $60,000. Both suspects are in custody of the Jefferson County Jail. Thornton is also being held in the Jefferson County Jail on a $150,000 bond. Thornton has also been charged with setting fires in the Warrior community, where he lives. He is due in court for a preliminary hearing on June 21.
Birmingham mayor William Bell issued a statement about the second arrest of a Birmingham police officer:
"We are certainly disappointed that the evidence has led us to an internal arrest. However, I am impressed with the speed of the investigation and the fact that our Police Department has left no stone unturned. The Birmingham Police Department is committed to excellence and to the safety of each of the citizens in our City and that holds true today."
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