Bonds set at more than $1.5 million for suspect in deadly shopping center fire

Emond Javor Johnson, 39, faces six charges, including murder

SAN ANTONIOThe man accused of starting the fire in May that killed one San Antonio firefighter and injured two others faces a long list of charges.

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Emond Javor Johnson, 39, was arrested early Wednesday morning on two counts of arson, two counts of arson with bodily injury, one count of assault and one count of murder.

San Antonio firefighter Scott Deem, a six-year SAFD veteran, died in the May 19 fire. Two other firefighters suffered injuries, including one who was seriously burned.

READ MORE: Workers surprised business owner arrested for starting deadly Ingram Square fire

They were part of the crews called to battle the fire at the Ingram Square shopping center. Deem became trapped inside the blazing building and died.

An arrest warrant affidavit says arson investigators determined someone purposely started the fire. It said they pinpointed the origin of the fire to an area inside one of the businesses, the Spartan Box Gym.

Investigators said Johnson owned the gym and, during questioning, eventually admitted that he torched the business. The affidavit said he told investigators he owed thousands of dollars in rent and was about to lose his lease.

Although Johnson was arrested Wednesday morning, records show he didn’t arrive at the Bexar County jail until shortly before 2 a.m. Thursday.

Most of the charges against him carry bonds totaling $100,000 or more. For the murder charge alone, his bond is set at $1 million.

If he’s convicted of any of the felony charges, Johnson will face a possible sentence of five to 99 years or life in prison.


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