The story shocked Beaumont and prison guards all over America: a federal correctional officer and his wife Monique, both Marine veterans fresh back from a tour in Iraq, were apparently burned out of the house they just bought less than a month before the April 10 blaze.
The low-down scumbags simply hated cops, said homeowner Monique Davis, who also claimed that they burgled some big-ticket items, spray-painted "Pig" on a table and some walls and lit fires in several rooms.
Wow. Terrible. What's the world coming to?
"It's still a shock you know, you can only cry so much," she said last week, as she showed reporters around the charred remnants of her home. But she wasn't that surprised, as she had been warned. Davis claimed that bad elements had told her they knew she had two kids and that "they didn't take too kindly to cops around here."
Don't take kindly to cops? Are we talking Beaumont or Dodge City here?
A reporter took note of Davis's husband's Marine Corps medals in the smoldering ruins. "It's scary, trying not to cry, you can't get this stuff back. You can't get back that moment the medal was placed in your hands or placed on your uniform, you can't get that stuff back," said Davis.
Nope. You sure can't.
TV station KFDM took up a collection to aid the family. Prison guards at this forum expressed a desire to help too, as well as a burning thirst for justice.
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But it looks like that search for justice need go no further than Monique Davis herself.
Beaumont Fire Marshal Brad Penisson told KFDM that Davis had confessed to the crime. She is alleged to have removed some of those big-ticket items she said had been stolen, and Penisson says he saw them safe and sound after the fire.
As for a motive, Penisson said Davis told him she just didn't like the neighborhood she was in, so she decided to torch her place and blame the neighborhood Manson Family.
Only Monique Davis is implicated in the crime, and she is charged with arson. There were no injuries in the blaze, but Davis could get anything from probation to 20 years in prison if convicted.