UPDATE: Son texts mother's phone, "You would have been in the way," after allegedly setting fire to her home
By WRCB Staff
OOLTEWAH, TN (WRCB) -
UPDATE: Police say text messages taken from Shouse's mother's phone tell them why her son would try to kill her in her sleep.
Earlier this month police arrested Johnny Shouse and his girlfriend Gladys George after allegedly setting fire to Shouse's mother's home intending to kill her.
The couple then fled and turned themselves in days later to police in Shreveport, LA.
Shouse's mother, Paula Shouse, was not seriously injured in the fire and is now staying with friends.
She did not want to talk on camera but her coworkers have been donating furniture and clothing so she can begin to move on.
Shouse told police she thought something was strange before she went to sleep the night of Jan 6th.
She got a call from her son's girlfriend, 20-year old Gladys George, around 11:30 p.m. asking if she was going to bed and wishing her a good night.
Shouse thought that was odd since the two didn't get along and they were all sleeping in the same house.
Shouse tells police the next thing she remembers is waking up in the middle of the night and seeing flames coming from underneath her bedroom door.
She tried to escape out her bedroom door but it was blocked so she got out through her back door and ran to her neighbor's house for help.
Inside investigators found a melted blue kerosene can and a police K9 smelled accelerant on the front porch and in the living room. Kerosene was also found on one of Shouse's dogs who also escaped the fire.
When investigators tried to ask Shouse some questions, one overheard Shouse yelling on the phone saying, "you tried to kill me," and she told police she was talking to George.
The next day Shouse told investigators she got disturbing text messages on her phone coming from her son's phone number.
Through text messages Shouse asked her son why he started the fire. The reply was "Cuz I can," and then in another text he followed up to say, "part of our plan to go off grid you would have been in the way." _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
UPDATE: A man and his girlfriend face charges of attempted 1st degree murder and aggravated arson. Johnny Shouse and Gladys George turned themselves in to Bossier City, Louisiana police last week.
It's about 600 miles from the Hamilton county home where his mother was left inside after a fire started.
A neighbor says Shouse's mother woke up to the sound of her dogs barking and then noticed smoke coming from her garage.
After struggling to free herself, she ran across the street to her neighbors for help.
"And she's standing in the door and screaming my house is on fire, my house is on fire," said neighbor Joel Paris, "And I came out and looked and the garage door was burning."
As soon as the victim escaped she went to her neighbors for help.
Paris saw flames coming from his neighbor's garage door and called 9-1-1.
"And it was burning good, I mean it had fire coming out the windows, popping out windows."
The victim told Paris how she got out alive. She told him her bedroom door was locked and she had to fight her way out of the burning home.
"She was screaming and said fire started coming out under the door and everything," Paris said, "So she tried and fought her way out and broke the door down to get out. And it was locked."
Investigators say her son, 41-year-old Johnny Shouse and his 20-year-old girlfriend Gladys George set fire to the home to kill Shouse's mother in her sleep.
Shouse was living there with his mother while he was on parole supervision for life and wearing a GPS tracking monitor.
Shouse took a plea deal in 2005 for aggravated sexual battery after originally being charged with child rape.
He served eight years at the Morgan County correctional facility and was released in 2012. He is registered as a violent sex offender.
Paris says he knew Shouse had a troubled past.
"Because he just got out of jail and he's got a bracelet and he can't go places," Paris said, "And I got to go to the store to get this, which a lot of times he's just after beer."
Shouse's parole officer said Shouse cut the strap off of his GPS tracking monitor sometime after his mother's home caught fire.
Police were searching for Shouse in Shreveport after his girlfriend was first to turn herself in.
Investigators have not released information on a motive. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ORIGINAL STORY: Two people sit in a Louisiana jail waiting for extradition back to Chattanooga on charges of Attempted 1st Degree Murder and Aggravated Arson.
During the investigation of a house fire on Ooltewah-Georgetown Road on January 6, Hamilton County Sheriff's detectives determined that the fire was a result of arson.
Evidence shows that Johnny Shouse and his girlfriend Gladys George set fire to Shouse's mother's home intending to kill her while she was asleep in her bedroom.
Warrants were obtained for Shouse and George charging each of them with Attempted 1st Degree Murder and Aggravated Arson.
Each bond is set at 3 million dollars.
Thursday Shouse and George surrendered to police in Shreveport, Louisiana.
They are in custody awaiting extradition proceedings.
Saturday, January 20 2018 2:07 AM EST2018-01-20 07:07:04 GMT
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