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Covington man faces arson charges in connection with February fire

COVINGTON -- The Covington Fire Department is pursuing arson and related charges against a Covington man in connection with a February blaze at his home which destroyed his 2007 Lexus, according to CFD Capt. Tony Smith.

Warrants were taken on April 3 for Joshua Brandon Moody, 29, of 9174 Washington St., on charges of two counts of arson in the first degree, two counts of criminal damage to property in the second degree and insurance fraud, all of which are felonies. Through arrangements with the jail, Moody turned himself in to the Newton County Detention Center Tuesday and was released on $49,700 bond.

Smith said on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 2:48 p.m. CFD firefighters were dispatched to the Washington Street address for a structure fire that involved a vehicle.

"When we got there the garage was fully involved and it was starting to extend over into the house," Smith said. "Through the investigation and outside analysis of fire debris, we have determined that it was an intentionally set fire."

Smith said Moody was home alone at the time of the fire and no one was injured.

Monetary damages included the Lexus RX 350, which was valued at approximately $20,000. The detached garage and home sustained approximately $50,000 to $60,000 in damages. Smith said Moody did not own the home, but it is owned by relatives and the Lexus was jointly owned by him and his father. Moody did file for insurance compensation, he said.

Smith said various aspects of the investigation raised questions about the origin of the blaze.

"The fire appeared to have started in the passenger department of the car which made us look at the car. The car was then taken into evidence and through analysis from both inside and outside agencies, the findings confirmed our beliefs that it was an intentional human act that started the fire," Smith said. "The information he (Moody) was giving us was not confirmed by evidence at the scene."