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Lacoochee Man Attempts to Burn Down RV While Resident Was Inside


LACOOCHEE, Fla. – CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis today announced that investigators with the Department of Financial Services’ Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations (BFAI) have arrested Wayne Allen Phillips III on charges of attempted felony murder, 1st degree arson and possession of methamphetamine after an investigation uncovered that Phillips intentionally set fire to an RV with the intent to cause life-threatening damages.

When the victim, an acquaintance of Phillips, returned to her RV November 26, 2017, Phillips was waiting for the victim in the nearby vacant structure. Once the victim entered the RV, Phillips then set fire to the inside of RV’s doorway and the victim was forced to escape the burning RV by climbing out a rear window. In doing so, the victim sustained 1st and 2nd degree burns while the RV became fully engulfed in flames causing a vacant house in the next lot to also receive fire damage. The victim was transported by ambulance to a local hospital where she was treated and later released.

Phillips admitted to setting the fire to the RV, which he knew was occupied by the victim, and to premeditating the attempted murder of the victim. Four days earlier, the victim caught Phillips pouring gasoline on a generator in the same area that was later determined to be the area of origin for the fire.

Phillips was arrested on November 26, 2017 by the BFAI for attempted felony murder and 1st degree arson charges. Phillips was also arrested simultaneously by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office (PSO) for the possession of methamphetamine. Phillips was transported to a local hospital to be medically cleared for methamphetamine use prior to being transported to the Pasco County Jail. 

This case will be prosecuted by the Office of State Attorney, 6th Judicial Circuit. If convicted, Phillips could face up to life in prison.
The Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations is a law enforcement branch of the Department of Financial Services that conducts statewide fire, arson and explosives investigations. The Bureau encourages Floridians who suspect or witness suspicious behavior to contact the Arson Tip Hotline by calling 1-877-662-7766. Callers can choose to remain anonymous and any information that leads to a prosecution may be eligible for a cash reward.

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