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Arson suspect arrested

A St. Helena man has been arrested in connection with a fire that destroyed a home on Legree Road. Thirty-two year old Willie Antonio Aiken was arrested Monday night on one count of Arson. Aiken is believed to have intentionally set the fire that consumed the home of his ex-girlfriend, 39-year-old Aldrena McKinnon.

Deputies responded to a reported structure fire at 10 Legree Rd just after 4:30 pm yesterday. Upon arrival, the home was fully engulfed in flames. No one was inside the home at the time the fire broke out, and no injuries were reported.

A child living at the home, who had been visiting a family member across the street, advised that she had gone home to get something and found Aiken inside. Aiken reportedly told the child to leave, which she did. However, she went back in a few minutes later and noticed Aiken pouring an unknown liquid onto the floor of the laundry room. She then saw Aiken striking matches and throwing them into the liquid, so she immediately left the home.

Witnesses reported seeing Aiken leave in a green Chevy Suburban, taking a rarely-used pathway, and moments later smoke was seen pouring from the home. Deputies made contact with Aiken at a family member’s home on Clarence Mitchell Rd. Aiken was interviewed and eventually placed under arrest for Arson.

Additionally, the Sheriff’s Office is also investigating a vehicle fire that occurred Monday, Sept. 2 and is believed to be associated with the Legree Rd home fire. At approximately 3 p.m. yesterday, Aiken reported that his 2013 Buick Century was missing, and that he believed it had been taken without his permission by McKinnon’s 15-year-old son. The vehicle was found just after 5 p.m. in the parking lot of the Gloria Potts Community Center (130 Seaside Road), also fully engulfed in flames. The vehicle sustained extensive fire damage, leaving it a total loss.

Anyone with information regarding the investigations into the home and/or vehicle fire is asked to contact Investigator Cpl. B. Disbrow at 843-255-3407 or Crimestoppers.

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