Corey Darnell Jones

Firefighters load air packs to continue battling a fire at 141 S. Aymond St., Eunice, Tuesday afternoon. State Fire Marshal investigators have ruled the fire an arson and burglary. (Photo by Harlan Kirgan)

Eunice man accused of torching house to cover burglary

A 40-year-old Eunice man, Corey Darnell Jones, faces multiple charges in connection with the burglary and arson of a residence at 141 S. Aymond St., Eunice, on Tuesday.
Jones is accused of forcibly entering a side door of the residence, stealing three firearms and then setting the house on fire before leaving, according to Brant Thompson, chief deputy state fire marshal.
Jones, of the 100 block of Linton Lane, Eunice, is charged with simple arson, simple burglary, theft of firearms, criminal trespass, obstruction of justice and aggravated cruelty to animals.
The fire resulted in the death the occupant’s dog.
“They are very serious charges,” Thompson said. “Jones has a lengthy criminal history. He is known in the community. He was very quickly identified by Eunice PD detectives,” Thompson.
Jones was captured on a home security system and Eunice Police detectives quickly identified him, Thompson said.
“Jones did in fact cut wiring serving that security system at the main panel and actually took some of the hardware equipment, such as the camera equipment, and put it into the kitchen sink and ran water over it in an attempt to defeat the that system,” Thompson said.
But the video had been stored off site and investigators were able to view it.
Thompson said the video shows Jones entering the house through the side door under the carport.
Jones entered the house after the residents left for a trip to McDonald’s. He entered shortly after 1 p.m. and stayed about 25 minutes, Thompson said.
The fire was reported at 1:39 p.m.
The house was occupied by Richard “Keith” Deaville, his wife, Carlene, and daughter, Courtney.
Eunice Fire Chief Mike Arnold said the house, owned by Winston Fuselier, was heavily damaged by heat and smoke.
Jones was apprehended by Eunice Police detectives in the early morning hours of Wednesday and held on a traffic warrant, Thompson said.
Thompson said Jones confessed to the incident in a recorded interview.
The firearms were to be traded for illicit drugs, Thompson said.
“I can’t say enough about our working relationship with the Euncie Police Department. They are a true friend and partner and have been throughout this investigation and on many others that we have had there in Eunice,” Thompson said.
“We continue to work to identify any others that may be have had any involvement in this crime,” he said.
Thompson said a simple arson conviction may result in a maximum fine of up to $15,000 and 15 years in prison. The other charges range from a maxium $1,000 to $50,000 fine and 10 years to 20 years in prison.
“He is again looking at some very serious charges here,” Thompson said.
The Deaville’s daughter, Misty, started a gofundme page at: gofundme.com/keith-carlene-deaville.
The page states:
“As most of you may have heard, my parent’s home caught fire on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. Everything was a total loss — from pictures, clothing, furniture, family pet, family keepsakes, appliances, and everything else you can possibly imagine — 35 years of memories.
“There was no one home at the time, so everyone is safe.
“We are a strong family and we will get through this with prayers and support from our family, friends and community. If you would like contribute to them to help them put their lives back together, it would be greatly appreciated.
“Thank you in advance for any donations, prayers and support!”

Eunice Today

465 Aymond St.
Eunice, LA 70535
Phone: 337-457-3061
Fax: 337-457-3122