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Cross, car, Sconyers sign burned by Augusta suspect on Easter, deputies say

Billie Gene Burdette II
Billie Gene Burdette II(WRDW)
Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 12:05 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - An Augusta man is facing arson charges for reportedly igniting multiple fires in the area early Sunday.

Billie Gene Burdette II, 42 of Augusta, was charged with three counts of third-degree arson and one count of first-degree arson, according to arrest records.

Deputies with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office connect Burdette to four fires lit in the area of Windsor Spring Road early Easter morning.

At 1:26 a.m., the Augusta Fire Department responded to a report of a fire at Cokesbury Preschool, 2005 Windsor Spring Road. There, crews found an area of burnt grass and a cross that was broken and burnt, according to an incident report by deputies.

At 2:24 a.m., deputies responded to a fire at Augusta Mitsubishi, 3145 Peach Orchard Road. Deputies report a 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander parked under the front awning of the business sustained “heavy fire damage” to its rear. Security camera footage showed a white male, later identified by authorities as Burdette, tampering with the vehicle prior to the fire.

Around the same time, the Augusta Fire Department responded to a fire at Sconyers Bar-B-Que near Bobby Jones Expressway and Peach Orchard Road. Officers report the grass and a log underneath the restaurant’s sign were burnt.

Later at 3:15 a.m., deputies found Burdette at a dumpster fire behind the Food Lion at 2115 Windsor Spring Road, according to deputies.

He was detained at the scene. Upon searching Burdette, deputies said they found a lighter that was still warm in his front right pocket.

Burdette reportedly had ashes on his hands, shoes and front of his clothing, deputies documented in the report. The suspect also reportedly smelled like burnt plastic.

Burdette is currently being held at the Charles B. Webster Detention Center.

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