Friday, July 19, 2013

'We had nothing to gain' – accused arsonist

Cop accused mom of dead woman over arson
Tina Pierce seated on living room furniture
 cops say came from burned house

“April was a big girl. She weighed almost 300 pounds. If you crossed her, she would definitely come at you...” - Cristina Ann Morgan, April Troyn's sister

Clifton – She can't remember exactly what day it happened – there were so many times the cops came to her door asking her about the fire – but she does remember her daughter putting the officers on the run, off the porch, gone for the day, with choice harsh words unprintable.

Tina Pierce, the mother of a woman who died May 4 under questionable circumstances while in custody at the Bosque County Jail, says Clifton police harassed her repeatedly over an unrelated crime for which her other daughter is indicted – arson of a dwelling.

If that's not complicated enough, there is the matter of for what charge, exactly, her deceased daughter thought she was under arrest when she called her family on May 2.

“She told us she thought it was for tickets,” Ms. Pierce recalls. She had been involved in a single car accident while driving her sister's van. The children were unrestrained by car seats or safety belts. A Clifton police officer named Monte Chastain came to her sister's house 8 miles out of town in a squad car and picked her up to take her to jail on a scofflaw warrant issued over not pay ing the tickets. He lost control of the vehicle and hit a tree on the way back. He is no longer with the police department.

When police arrested her on May 2, court records show, it was for endangering a child in December, an offense for which police obtained an arrest warrant in February. Curiously, at the time of the original December complaint, the police released her children to her custody on the orders of Childrens Protective Services workers. They found no reason to press a complaint on that date five months earlier. (click here)
502 N. Ave. D, Clifton

On the way to jail, she told her mother and sister, Police Detective Darrin Glenn questioned her about the arson of her sister's rental house at 811 Alpha Pl., for which her sister Hope Lane and her husband Michael Green are indicted. She says there is an audio tape of that interrogation, that the police have promised to release it to her attorney when the investigation is complete.

In response to an earlier article, Mr. Green denied his guilt, writing,This is the first time in my life I've ever been arrested for something I didn't family and I lost everything we owned in that house fire,some things were totally irreplaceable. My wife and i were fighting that night but what couple don't?I used to drink a lot,I won't deny that and it caused us to fight alot, But never would i intentionally set fire to anything. My kids my wife and i lost everything we had.I wouldn't do that to anyone. do you know how it feels to wake up and have no clothes or shoes or a bed? We didn't have any insurance we were renting.we were at church getting clothes when officer glenn asked us questions and my wife signed a paper for a fire marshal to come in and test for the cause of the fire. We had nothing to gain..."

A Fire Marshal's investigation detected petroleum distillate accelerant had been sprinkled around the rear door of the house and set ablaze. Two other homes adjacent to that address, all of them owned by the same family related by marriage, have burned.

April Troyn's death has been ruled a suicide by hanging, according to the 220th Judicial District Attorney, B.J. Shepherd, who alerted the Waco media of the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's finding, quoting a report that has been sealed by Pct. 1 Justice Court Ray Ballman, pending a Texas Rangers investigation. Though the details were released to a broadcaster and a print media daily publication, the information is unavailable to all others, including the family of the deceased.

Said Ms. Pierce of Clifton Police Chief Steve Adcock's repeated visits to her front porch at 502 Ave. D, Clifton, “He kept badgering me. They were trying to make me say it was Hope's furniture (on the porch) and I know she burned the house (at 811 Alpha Pl.) down.”

Matters finally came to a head one day when in frustration she went to her daughter's bedroom door where she slept and asked her to speak to the cops on her behalf.

“April came out here and said 'Look M____F_____, this furniture belongs to my mother. Hope's furniture burned up in the fire. Now, you get your a__ out of here and don't come back...”

Chief Adcock and another member of the department left immediately, as she remembers. She obtained the furniture on her porch from a Baptist minister who donated it to the family when she was living in a barren house at Meridian. Now that her daughter's family is living with her at Clifton, she has beds in every room, and no room inside for a living room suite.

Said Ms. Pierce, mother of the three daughters, “I had to get myself three more dogs to guard the place. I've been broken into three times. They come by at night and throw rocks at the dogs...”

Ms. Pierce knows little of what happened to her daughter April. “All I know is a police officer came to my door and told me she was deceased, that she died at the jail, and it's all under investigation.”

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