Author: Valerie Reddell

News Director for Polk County Publishing Company Inc., a family of six community newspapers in East Texas.

Man jailed for arson fires in Shelter Cove

Tommy Eugene Jones

SHELTER COVE — Arson charges are pending against a Livingston man in connection with three fires set at three separate residences in the Shelter Cove subdivision on March 28.

Deputies were preparing to charge Tommy Eugene Jones, 40 with three counts of arson after detectives combined evidence obtained from the crime scenes, combined with a Crime Stoppers tip, led to the arrest. Jones is being held at the Polk County Jail on another felony charge of manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance, penalty group 1, 4 to 200 grams.

Two of the three trailer homes were vacant and unoccupied at the time the fires started, but they all have the same owner. At least two of the three structures are a total loss, according to a statement from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

In a statement released by Sheriff Kenneth Hammack Friday, the incidents stemmed from an ongoing dispute between Jones and another subject.

Hammack, the Criminal Investigation Division and Polk County deputies want to thank the general public for providing the information that lead to Jones’ arrest.

If you have any additional information to this case or another felony crime, please call Crime Stoppers at 936-327-STOP and you could be eligible for a cash reward. All calls to Crime Stoppers are anonymous.

You can also reach detectives at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office by calling 936-329-9027.

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Manhunt underway in Trinity

Justin Hanson is wanted for aggravated assault, kidnapping, unlawful possession of a firearm and evading arrest. If you see Jason, call 911. Officers consider him armed and dangerous.

UPDATE: 12:25 p.m.

Just spoke with Trinity County Chief Deputy Tommy Parks … the warrants for kidnapping and aggravated assault stem from an altercation Hanson had with his former girlfriend. Witnesses saw him force her into his vehicle. He drove her around the Glendale area and struck her several times, including one blow with a flashlight to her head that caused significant injury. Hanson then returned to a store in Trinity and went inside for a drink. Once he was out of sight, the victim jumped from the car and escaped. She reported the incident to law enforcement. Parks said Hanson uses meth frequently and is considered armed and dangerous. Call 911 if you see him.

Trinity County Sheriff Woody Wallace, Trinity Police Chief Steven Jones and other law enforcement officials are in the second day of a manhunt for Justin Hanson.

Wallace said in a live video posted to his Facebook page that Hanson has been binging on meth for several days.

Jones reported that Investigator Cole was checking locations in the Trinity area looking for Hanson in connection with a reported kidnapping and aggravated assault. Details on that offense were not immediately available. We will share those as soon as we learn more about that incident.

During that initial search, Jones said another male caught sight of Cole and immediately fled.

“Running at the mere sight of a police officer creates reasonable suspicion and probable cause,” Jones explained.

The fleeing man fled to a location where Hanson was hiding, Jones said. When the second suspect entered that location, Hanson took flight.

Wallace said Hanson was wearing blue jeans and a red tank top at that time. He was believed to be in the Milltown area of Trinity, but he also listed Trinlady Park Road and little Mexico as possible areas where Hanson could be hiding.

Officers found one suspect hiding behind a door in an abandoned church. Jones also recovered a handgun that officials believe was in Hanson’s possession, but they report he could have other firearms.

On Thursday, Wallace advised residents to be cautious and avoid allowing children or other vulnerable residence to be outside.

If you see Hanson or someone who appears to be Hanson, call 911. Do not attempt to detain him yourself.

Watch Wallace’s video here: https://www.facebook.com/TrinityCountySheriff/videos/2111958305693320/