Bond reduction denied for man charged in death of San Antonio firefighter

Emond Johnson set fire that took life of firefighter Scott Deem, authorities say

SAN ANTONIO – The gym owner accused of setting a fire that killed one San Antonio firefighter and injured another was denied a bond reduction Thursday.

Emond Johnson has been in Bexar County Jail since he was arrested in 2017 on five charges that include arson and murder. His bond is currently set at $1.2 million.

Fire Chief Charles Hood was pleased that Johnson's bond was denied.

"We're happy about this outcome," he said. "We understand that this will be a long event to where we'll have to continue to guard our emotions and be prepared for the case."

Prosecutors argued that Johnson was a flight risk and would have no reason to stay in San Antonio if he was released from jail.

"We're very satisfied with the judge's ruling," said Emily Angulo, a Bexar County assistant district attorney. "We think that the court acted very appropriately."

On May 19, 2017, firefighters were called to put out a blaze at Johnson's gym at the Ingram Square Shopping Center.

Firefighter Scott Deem was trapped in the building and died there. Firefighter Bradd Phipps was seriously injured while responding to the fire.

Investigators believe Johnson intentionally set the fire because he was behind on paying rent and was about to lose the lease on his gym.

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