The Norman Transcript

January 3, 2013

Cross burning leads to arson charges

By Jessica Bruha
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Arson charges were filed at the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s office Wednesday after a Norman man allegedly burned a cross in an Oklahoma City man’s front yard.

Joshua Scott Brown, 37, was charged with third-degree arson, endangering human life during arson, burning a cross and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Oklahoma City police responded to the call regarding a burning cross just before midnight Dec. 27 at the 16100 block of Glimmer Circle. The affidavit stated a neighbor saw a man burning the cross in front of the house in Oklahoma City.

At the scene police found the fire had burned part of the wood, or homemade cross, and about three to four feet of grass around the area of the cross. A bottle of tire shine also was found at the base of the cross containing an accelerant, potentially gasoline the affidavit stated.

When Norman and Oklahoma City police officers searched Brown’s house they found materials matching those found at the scene including fencing material that was stapled on the cross and a freshly cut piece of wood.

Brown’s vehicle also matched the description the vehicle a witness saw at the scene. The witness said they saw a subject get out of the vehicle, place the cross in the yard, light it on fire and leave the scene in the same vehicle.

Police also found a loaded hunting rifle with a scope in the passenger seat of the vehicle at Brown’s house. Also in the vehicle were small items of kindling including twigs and straws matching what was found at the scene, the document stated.

Brown was arrested and booked into Cleveland County jail on Dec. 28 and released on Dec. 31.

Meghan McCormick, public information officer for Cleveland County Sheriff’s Department, said records do not show Brown as bonding out of jail but was released.

The affidavit stated that Brown’s bail was to be set at $150,000 and the defendant was to be transported to Cleveland County Department of Corrections by 10 a.m. on Jan. 2 or to be released if not held on other charges.

Brown has worked for Oklahoma City as a plumbing inspector since August 2009 and was on administrative leave during the time of the incident.

Jessica Bruha366-3540jbruha@normantranscript.com

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