Baton Rouge, La. (August 20, 2014) – A former volunteer firefighter with the Beauregard Parish Broadlands Fire Station, Brandon Lee Harris of Longville, La., has pled guilty to three counts of Simple Arson.
According to court documents, Harris was sentenced to five years of hard labor for each count. The sentences will run concurrently and with credit for time served, four years could be suspended. Upon release, Harris will be placed on supervised probation for three years.
“It is important that we see these arrests and court cases through to the very end. This individual was supposed to protect the public and instead acted irresponsibly and chose to do something criminal. That’s unacceptable in my book,” said Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M.
The 36th Judicial District Court further orders Harris to register in the Louisiana Arsonist Registry pursuant to LA. R.S. 15:562.3, pay $12,250 restitution to the victim for damages resulting from the fires and pay additional court and prosecution costs.
Harris was arrested in February 2014 following a month long investigation by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and the Beauregard Parish District Attorney’s Office.
According to investigators, Harris admitted to setting wildfires in wooded areas south of DeRidder, La. near Longville, La. in 2012 and 2013 while he was working as a volunteer firefighter. Harris told investigators he set the wildfires to receive payment as a volunteer for fighting the fires and for the excitement of fighting fires.