According to the Mesa Police Department, forty-three-year-old (43) Anthony Beesley was booked on suspicion of arson of an occupied structure and other misdemeanor charges. Mr. Beesley was arrested after an incident that began at the Walgreens at 755 E. Main Street in Mesa when Mr. Beesley used a cane to smash some items inside the Walgreens forcing employees and customers to hide from in the back rooms of the store. When police arrived, Mr. Beesley complied with their demands to drop the cane and then told officers that he had set his apartment on fire. Police went to Mr. Beesley’s apartment at the El Rancho Motel and found his room was on fire. The Mesa Fire Department arrived shortly thereafter. Although the motel manager estimated the smoke damage would exceed $1000, no one was injured. Mr. Beesley, who has issues with drugs and alcohol, told officers he had been planning to start the fire for a week.
According to Arizona Revised Statute § 13-1703, “A person commits arson of a structure or property by knowingly and unlawfully damaging a structure or property by knowingly causing a fire or explosion.” Under Arizona law, arson of a structure is considered a Class 4 Felony punishable by up to two and a half (2 1/2) years in prison.
If you are facing charges for arson, contact the criminal law attorneys at Oracle Law Group for aggressive criminal defense representation.