Mobile home in flames after ‘Molotov Cocktail’

Staff Report
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Yadkinville Police arrested a Statesville man Sunday after he allegedly attempted to set an occupied mobile home on fire with a “Molotov cocktail.”

Matthew Franklin Ward, 41, of Bradley Farm Road, Statesville, was taken into custody by police as he fled the residence of his stepfather on Apple Drive in Yadkinville.

Police allege that Ward and an accomplice drove from Statesville to Yadkinville around 11:30 a.m., after a family dispute via phone calls and texts escalated. Ward used an improvised incendiary device (IID) made with a bottle and combustible liquid (Molotov cocktail) to set the outside of the residence on fire.

George Allen Smith, Ward’s stepfather, and three other persons were inside the home including one juvenile. Smith and the other occupants ran from the home and fought the flames until Yadkinville Fire Department arrived.

Ward has been charged with one count first-degree arson, four counts attempted first-degree murder, one count felony conspiracy, and one count possession of a weapon of mass destruction (IID).

Ward was placed under a combined $1,075,000 secured bond. The case is ongoing, and additional charges and arrests are expected, according to law enforcement officials.

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Staff Report