Second person accused of sparking 300-acre Port St. John brush fire
Fire was part of insurance fraud scheme, officials say
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – A second person has been accused of sparking the 300-acre Horse Stable Fire that closed highways and forced homeowners to flee in April in Port St. John.
Alanna Spangler, 19, of Port St. John was arrested shortly after 1:30 a.m. Tuesday during a traffic stop in front of the Brevard County Jail Complex in Sharpes, News 6 partner Florida Today reported. A warrant for her arrest had been issued Wednesday.
Detectives with the Florida Division of Investigative and Forensic Services said Spangler and Roger Garrett, 41, of Port St. John set a 2012 Mazda 3 on fire April 17 on an access road just off Golfview Avenue, between Fay Boulevard and Flora Vista Place.
Garrett and Spangler face charges of arson, conspiracy to commit arson, burning to defraud insurer, conspiracy to defraud insurance company, presenting a false insurance claim, conspiring to present a false insurance claim, commercial dumping over 500 pounds, disruption of an education institution and careless disposal of a lighted match.
Spangler also was charged with resisting arrest with violence. During the Tuesday traffic stop, she pushed away from a deputy, attempted to flee, and kicked deputies, an arrest affidavit shows.
Her total bond was set at $23,000 during a Tuesday afternoon court appearance, and she will be arraigned Oct. 24 at the Titusville Historic Courthouse. She remained incarcerated Tuesday afternoon at the jail complex.
State Road 407 was shut down between Interstate 95 and State Road 528 during the smoky brush fire. Space Coast Jr./Sr. High students and staffers had to remain on campus for their safety before the blaze was brought under control.
The burning Mazda ignited surrounding woodlands and sparked the brush fire, an arrest affidavit said. Garrett, who owned the car, reported that the vehicle had been stolen.
Two weeks after the fire, detectives interviewed Spangler — who said Garrett wanted to burn his vehicle for the insurance money, an arrest affidavit said. She said Garrett told her he poured gasoline on the car, left the doors open and set it on fire.
Investigators obtained Snapchat photos from Spangler's account showing the Mazda fully engulfed in flames, the affidavit said. One photo of the Mazda included the caption, "I'm about to burn this (expletive) down," the affidavit said.
Spangler remains jailed, and his Oct. 24 arraignment was canceled Monday.
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