DA LaHood confident in case against man of starting fatal fire

Emond Johnson facing multiple charges

SAN ANTONIO – The investigation into the strip mall fire that killed firefighter Scott Deem isn't over yet -- but after Wednesday's arrest, District Attorney Nico LaHood is already preparing for a possible trial.

Emond Johnson has been charged with murder, two counts of arson bodily injury and two other arson counts. He is also facing an unrelated felony domestic violence charge.

RELATED: Arrest made in death of firefighter Scott Deem

The May 19 fire killed firefighter Scott Deem and injured Brad Phipps and Robert Vasquez.

The affidavit gave a laundry list of evidence from an investigation Nico LaHood said he's been a part of since day one.

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

LaHood said he wanted to be sure all the evidence that would be needed for a trial was being taken care of and he said he was impressed with the depth of the investigation.

“In this case because of the nature of it and how serious it was and how unique, we were involved early on and I'm glad we were,” LaHood said. “We just kind of made sure everyone was working well together which they were and everyone did a wonderful job.”

Johnson will not be indicted until that investigation is over and LaHood said there is no timeline for when it will end.

Even though Johnson admitted to his part in the fire, which does not mean a guilty verdict is a sure thing, but LaHood said he is confident.

“We feel we have evidence to bolster that and corroborate that,” LaHood said. “We had evidence aside from that so the admission is extra for us and it's a good extra.”

When asked if there are any other people that could be tied to the crime, he said he's not counting out the idea but would not confirm or deny it.


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