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Oxford man charged with third degree arson

OXFORD– A series of suspicious fires led to Timothy James Hora, 30, of Oxford being arrested and charged with five counts of third-degree arson.
According to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO), deputies and the Oxford Fire Department responded to a field fire at approximately 8:41 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27, near 3004 Chambers Ave. SW in rural Johnson County. Over the following two weeks deputies and Oxford Fire responded to seven more grass and field fires in the rural Oxford area. All fires were during the night and early morning hours, and damage was limited to ditches, fields, fence posts and hay bales.
On Saturday, April 13, at approximately 11:14 p.m., a JCSO deputy was on patrol in the area of the previous fires and discovered three vegetation fires in progress in the area of 255th Street NW and Upper Old Hwy. 6 NW, near Oxford. The deputy also observed a pickup truck parked near one of the fires and a male stamping out the flames. According to an affidavit filed with the Clerk of District Court, Hora was the male observed. In addition, a butane torch “warmer to the touch than other metal in the pickup” was found in the back of his truck. The affidavit also states “(Defendant) claimed he was trying to stamp the fires out starting with the smallest, but did not report them using a cell phone, which was in his possession. Some of the fires were waist high.” Hora was subsequently arrested for Operating While Intoxicated and taken to the Johnson County Jail.
Hora’s vehicle was subject to GPS (Global Positioning System) monitoring beginning on Monday, April 15, at around 10:45 p.m. On Sunday, April 21, at approximately 10:43 p.m. a vegetation fire was discovered at 1298 330th St. SW. At 11:08 p.m. a vegetation fire was discovered at 1098 Gegenheimer Rd. NW.
“According to GPS monitoring, on April 21, 2019, Def’s vehicle stopped at 1098 Gegenheimer Road NW for approximately two minutes at (10:07 p.m.), turned south onto Johnson-Iowa Road, and then turned east onto 330th Street NW. (Defendant’s) vehicle stopped in the area of 1298 330th Street SW for approximately two minutes at (10:13 p.m.),” the affidavit stated.
A warrant for Hora’s arrest was issued on Tuesday, April 23, by order of District Associate Judge Deborah Farmer Minot.
Hora was taken into custody at 11:16 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23, near the 233-mile marker on Interstate 80 and was also charged with Public Intoxication. Bond was set at $50,000 cash or surety.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office assisted the JCSO with the ongoing investigation.
At the time of his arrest, Hora was the assistant fire chief for the Oxford Fire Department.