Todd Franklin Rowland, 32, admitted to officials in both Greene and Sharp County to burning a house by lighting separate fires in different rooms in the home of his ex-girlfriend Lisa Sellers.
A report obtained from the Sharp County Sheriff's Department, said an emergency call was received from Sellers advising that her home in Ash Flat was on fire. She told authorities that her ex-boyfriend had set the fire. When Ash Flat Police Department Officer Braden Ables reached the home he interviewed Sellers and she told him that after arriving home, she found the house on fire and her ex-boyfriend had just left.
When Criminal Investigators Detective Sergeants Mark Counts and Ken Guidry arrived, they too met with Sellers who told him she had dated Rowland for seven years and that they had recently broken up. She advised the investigators that he had come to talk the day before the fire. She said they drove around and to his house at Paragould where he became abusive. Sellers said she then talked him into taking her back to her home in Ash Flat. Sellers then told the detectives that he took her to a gravel road near Saddle where she jumped out of the vehicle and began running. After calling her mother to pick her up and take her home, she said she didn't call the police because Rowland told her he would kill her if she did. Sellers said her mother stayed with her at her home in case Rowland were to show up.
When Sellers and her mother were on their way to Walmart, Rowland showed up at the home, at which time the two left the house to avoid a confrontation. When they returned, Sellers noticed what appeared to be fire in the house and called 9-1-1.
After contacting the Greene County Sheriff's Department about the incident, an officer went to Rowland's home and arrested him on an active warrant for an unrelated drug charge. Arkansas State Police Special Agent Wendell Jines then went to Paragould to interview Rowland, who refused.
After being interviewed Nov. 30 by Greene County officials, Rowland confessed to the crime and told officers he set fires in three bedrooms of the home because he was mad at Sellers. He later told the same story to Counts and Guidry while he was being transported from Greene County to Sharp County.
The Ash Flat Fire Department responded to a fire at the same residence on Oct. 5. Rowland is being held in the Sharp County jail on a $400,000 bond.