UPDATE - SUSPECT CHARGED
(Lawrenceville, Ga., January 11, 2020) – Gwinnett County fire investigators have charged Austin Childers, age-18 of Lawrenceville, with three felonies to include Burglary, 1st Degree Arson and Possession of Tools for the Commission of a Crime. All are in connection with the house fire New Year’s Day on Castle Royale Drive in unincorporated Lawrenceville.
Childers was initially labeled as a possible witness in the case, but was later identified as a suspect based on information obtained during the investigation. Fire investigators were able to match the description given by a responding fire crew and a second witness, of an individual on a skateboard, to Ring doorbell video related to other crimes that occurred in the same area that night.
Childers had an interaction with Gwinnett County police early in the morning on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 and was taken into custody on unrelated charges. He was booked at the Gwinnett County Detention Center and was questioned by fire investigators and police detectives. Childers admitted to the burglary and arson fire during an interview at the jail.
There are several GCPD cases tied to the suspect. As of today, Childers has been charged with DUI, Speeding, Improper Lane Change, Open Container, Fleeing, Theft by Receiving Stolen Property, Burglary, Possession of Tools, Theft by Taking, and Criminal Damage in the 2nd Degree. A police detective will be pursuing additional arrest warrants for Childers in the near future.
The residential arson fire, burglary and the additional crimes were able to be solved quickly because of the collaborative efforts of fire investigators and police detectives. All was made possible thanks to the cooperation of concerned members of the community.