- Associated Press - Thursday, March 6, 2014

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) - A suspect has been arrested in a series of arsons at vacant homes in Medford, police said Thursday.

The suspect’s practice of videotaping fires, showing flames even before firefighters arrived, and then posting footage online was one reason he emerged as a suspect as early as last summer, police said at a news conference.

They said firefighters recalled seeing the man at some of the 21 arsons recorded since 2011.

Police questioned Manoah Martin Hall, 38, last summer, the Medford Mail Tribune reported (https://bit.ly/1hQj256 ).

“He remained on our radar, but we didn’t have enough to arrest him,” Lt. Mike Budreau said.



Hall is charged with arson in five of the fires, and investigators said they may be able to link more to him. He also faces other charges including making and selling methamphetamine. Court records show a history of meth and theft convictions in Jackson County dating to 2006.

Police Chief Tim George said homeless people were squatters in some of the houses that were torched, and it was lucky no one had been hurt. One count against Hall specifies that a fire threatened a person’s life.

Recent, unspecified forensic evidence led to a search of his home in Ashland on Wednesday and the arrest, Budreau said.

Hall was held on $2 million bail. The Jackson County district attorney’s office did not immediately return calls about his initial court appearance, and it could not be immediately determined whether he had a lawyer.

___

Information from: Mail Tribune, https://www.mailtribune.com/

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