Two Stephens County residents are behind bars and charged with third-degree arson in a case dating back to late September 2020.
Daniel Ryan Soto, 41, of Lawton, faces a third-degree arson charge after a prior felony conviction and possession of a stolen vehicle. Jacob Wesley Patterson, 20, of Duncan, faces a third-degree arson charge and possession of a stolen vehicle.
According to statements obtained in Stephens County Courthouse, the Stephens County Sheriff’s Office responded on September 23, 2020, to a call from a burnt-out vehicle in the Comanche Lake Road area, southeast of Duncan.
Oklahoma State Fire Department Judah Sheppard was assigned to the case to investigate the burned vehicle and found it stolen and reported as such on September 18, 2020, by the vehicle’s owners.
Sheppard excluded several conclusions from how the fire started and reported “the cause of the fire was determined to be the ignition of available materials and combustibles within the passenger compartment/cabin area of the enclosed vehicle by an external open flame ignition device by means of of intentional human interaction , ”According to the statement.
The same report indicates that during the investigation, Soto voluntarily provided a written statement that showed he was “involved in the vehicle theft” and that he and Patterson drove him to the scene. The same statement shows that Soto said that Patterson, while the vehicle was not running, allegedly set the vehicle on fire and that Soto did not stop it.
The report shows Soto told police in testimony that the vehicle was “intentionally set on fire with the introduction of gasoline” and the use of a lighter after the “windows were smashed with a crowbar”.
Patterson, in his statement to investigators, told police the same story, except that Soto allegedly set the car on fire and that Patterson did not try to stop Soto.
Soto’s bail was set at $100,000 and he is expected to appear in court for a preliminary hearing at 9:00 am on July 28, 2021. Patterson’s bail was set at $50,000 and he withdrew from his preliminary hearing.