A Pontotoc County man has pled guilty to two counts of second-degree arson in fires that heavily damaged American Furniture last year.
According to court records, Jason Lee Doss entered the plea on July 28 in Pontotoc County Circuit Court. Doss, 32, was given two, consecutive 10-year sentences.
While one 10-year sentence is just beginning, Doss was credited for time already served on the second sentence, with the balance suspended, as well as five years post-release supervision.
Doss was arrested on Feb. 14, 2019, when Pontotoc County Sheriffs’ deputies caught him fleeing into the woods near the burning warehouses in the Industrial Park. Plant employees spotted Doss and kept him in sight, which helped deputies bring him in quickly.
According to Sheriff Leo Mask, Doss confessed that he’d set the two fires only minutes after applying for a job at American Furniture. Mask said that Doss put in an application, was told to come back the next day, then, set fire to two warehouses as he exited.
The fires were reported at approximately 4 p.m. and crews from Pontotoc, Union, Lee, and Calhoun counties responded.
Officers from the State Fire Marshall’s Office, and Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Division collected evidence from the scene, which included video from surveillance cameras inside the warehouses.
Fires ravaged American Furniture on three, consecutive occasions dating back to Oct. 13, 2018 when flames destroyed more than 125,000 square feet of building space. That fire was later ruled arson, but no arrests were made.
On Jan. 5, 2018 a fire destroyed almost 400,000 square feet of warehouse, and the cause remains unknown.
American Furniture was also heavily damaged by fire in Feb. 2008.
According to sheriff’s records, Doss has been in the Pontotoc County Jail since March 24, awaiting his hearing. A grand jury handed down the indictment on April 30, 2019. In addition to jail time, Doss was ordered to pay $25,000 in restitution to American Furniture. He’s also responsible for $444 in court costs, $1,000 fine, and various, smaller fees to local and state agencies.