Man told Hawkins deputy he set field on fire because he wanted a ride

Jeff Bobo • Jul 16, 2019 at 9:30 PM

ROGERSVILLE — A Hawkins County man allegedly admitted to setting his mother’s hayfield on fire Sunday afternoon because his mother didn’t give him a ride home when he asked for it.

Lorne Ray Wallen, 51, 1328 Longs Bend Road, Rogersville, allegedly told Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Hunter Newton that he set the War Valley Road hayfield ablaze because he was “aggravated that he couldn’t get a ride home.”

Newton stated in his report, “Lorne said he set the field on fire because he knew someone would show up and then possibly give him a ride.”

Shortly before 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Newton responded to an arson complaint where he observed the field at 1541 War Valley Road on fire.

Newton said the field had recently been raked to have the hay bailed. By the time firefighters from the Goshen Valley and Carters Valley departments arrived on the scene, about an acre had burned.

Wallen’s 76-year-old mother reportedly stated Wallen was upset because he couldn’t get a ride back to his home on Longs Bend Road after he had walked to her residence. 

“(His mother) said she would give him a ride when she got through with what she was doing,” Newton stated in his report. “(Her grandson) was the one who told her that Lorne was setting the field on fire.”

Wallen appeared in Sessions Court in May, when he was sentenced to 48 hours in jail and 11 months and 29 days on probation for DUI.

He was being held in the Hawkins County Jail with no bond set pending his arraignment that was scheduled for Monday.

Arson is a Class C felony punishable by 3-6 years if convicted.



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