Suspect charged with aggravated arson

A Nashville man is in custody after what Wilson County sheriff's investigators said was an attempt to burn his estranged wife and her cousin inside a Wilson County home.
Jan 12, 2013
arson  Photo: Submitted

Joshua R. Simmons

A Nashville man is in custody after what Wilson County sheriff's investigators said was an attempt to burn his estranged wife and her cousin inside a Wilson County home.

Detectives arrested Joshua R. Simmons, 30, Wednesday on an aggravated arson charge.

"Aggravated arson is the charge when more than one person is in the home, and there were two people in the house when he attempted to set it on fire," said Det. Mike Barbee.

Barbee said Simmons and his wife are separated, and she was staying with a cousin in Wilson County.

"They woke up to the sound of him yelling outside," Barbee said. "He poured accelerant on the window and set it on fire."

Barbee said the accelerant smelled like gasoline, but he wouldn't be sure what was used until lab results come back.

Barbee said the couple had problems.

"I think there were some incidents; at least the wife said there were," he said. "There may have been some previous charges of domestic violence, but I'll have to look that up in court."

He said as the investigation continues, Simmons may well face more serious charges.

"The district attorney will take a look at the case, and he may be charged with criminal attempt," Barbee said.

Barbee said while domestic violence is unfortunetly common, it's "rare" for one spouse to try to burn the other alive, but little surprises him.

"We see a lot of things," he said.

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