Police: Florida man sets own home on fire, traps and kills dog

The Freeport man detailed a major plot to set the home on fire with the intention of killing the two family dogs
A Freeport man set his own home on fire with the intent to kill his dogs
Published: Aug. 25, 2022 at 11:12 AM CDT
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WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WTVY) - A Walton County man torched his home in a pet murder plot and was later arrested by police.

According to reports released by the Walton County Fire Rescue and Sheriff’s Office, as well as an arrest report, fire agencies with Walton County, South Walton, North Bay, and Eglin Air Force Base were dispatched to a home engulfed in flames on Madiera Drive in Freeport at around 9:00 p.m on Wednesday.

46-year-old Kevin Ray Powell, the identified owner of the home, was dealt with by Walton County deputies who were also assisting with evacuating neighboring homes while the multiple fire agencies attacked the fire. It took more than an hour to get the fire under control, and luckily did not damage other homes.

Powell was described as “behaving very erratically,” running around the neighborhood screaming and defying orders to stay away from the home while the Fire Department worked to extinguish the flames. At one point, Powell also grabbed a crowbar from one of the Walton County Fire Rescue vehicles, and used it to shatter the windows of his Toyota pickup truck parked in front of the home.

After deputies apprehended and removed him from the scene, Powell described his erratic behavior was due to consumption of a combination of vodka, marijuana, and OxyContin throughout the day.

Powell, who has a wife and son who weren’t at home, then admitted to a deliberate plan to set his home on fire with the intention to kill his two family dogs. He described placing multiple rounds of shotgun ammunition around the home, and then proceeded to lock his dogs in the master bedroom closet, and used a blowtorch to light the carpet outside of it on fire while covering his mouth with a wet shirt.

The Freeport man, who police described as a 26-year veteran of Navy EOD highly trained in explosives, used a firearm at one point to shoot out the windows in the front of the house to “oxygenate the fire so it would accelerate,” as well as shoot the gas tank on his vehicle.

While one of the trapped dogs managed to escape, the other was later found dead in the home.

Powell was arrested after his admission of guilt to deputies. He continued his erratic behavior in custody, including at one point being heard as saying “I can’t wait to go back to my house and lay in bed and smell those dogs.” He also repeatedly attempted to escape from his cuffs, urinated on himself multiple times, and was verbally abusive to law enforcement according to the arrest report.

He was eventually taken to Walton County Jail and booked on charges of second-degree arson and animal cruelty.

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