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Two charged in arson of Sullivan barn

September 5th, 2013 11:14 am by Rain Smith

Two charged in arson of Sullivan barn

William McNeill, 30, and Heather Wayne, 26, both of Bristol, Tenn.

Two residents of Bristol, Tenn., have been arrested after a flaming roll of paper towels was thrown at a Sullivan County barn.

Police are still sorting through what may have spurred the incident, but the victim says he confronted the pair when he saw them stopped at the structure.

Meanwhile, the suspects claim to have encountered the man in an earlier road rage incident, ending with a bathroom break and punch in the mouth.

William McNeill, 30, of 2931 Broad St., No. 126, and Heather Wayne, 26, of 2646 Anderson St., are charged with arson and trespassing. At approximately 8:20 Wednesday night, the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office was alerted to the incident at 1719 Massengill Road.

According to police reports, the victim told a responding officer that he had spotted a black Ford Mustang in the road by his barn. When he approached the car its driver, later identified as McNeill, allegedly began yelling and cursing, then sped away.

A few minutes later, according to the barn's owner, the Mustang returned. This time McNeill allegedly lit paper towels that had been soaked with some type of fuel, heaving the flaming roll at the barn.

The barn’s owner and two additional witnesses were able to kick the roll into the roadway and extinguish the flames. Bristol police later called SCSO officers to Broad Street, where the suspects' vehicle had been located.

According to arrest records, McNeill and Wayne claimed the incident was spurred by an earlier road rage encounter on Highway 11W. McNeill said the altercation ended at the barn when its owner punched him in the mouth. He refused to offer any further comment.

All that Wayne would add, according to arrest records, is that she exited the Mustang at the barn "to pee."

Both were arrested and transported to the Sullivan County jail in Blountville.

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