Suspected Arsonist Under Investigation In Several Counties

Kristen Lowe
NewsWest 9

An Ector County Sheriff's Deputy spotted 63-year-old Jimmie Farris leaving Windham Ranch on Wednesday, just after a grassfire started there. In this case, officials say he was caught red-handed.

But now other counties, like Howard County, are saying they've had reports of someone who matched Farris' description around grassfires that sparked up in their area.

Howard County Volunteer Fire Chief Tommy Sullivan says they are trying to link Farris to three different fires west of Coahoma.

"We have reports of an older gentleman that was seen at some of our fires, in a white pick-up truck," Sullivan said. "We're going to see if he ties in. He meets the age criteria, being an older male. Now if we can just tie in the vehicle and place him here."

But according to Sullivan, that is the hard part.

"A lot of the time, you don't actually have the evidence to convict him. You can put it out there, but unless you saw him light the match and do it, it's hard to convict him on those kind of charges," he said.

Sullivan said he needs proof, like a transaction at a convenience store, or some type of evidence that places him at the scene.

Right now, Farris is only facing one charge of second-degree felony arson for allegedly setting the fire at Windham Ranch on Wednesday.

He's currently behind bars at the Midland County Detention Center.