Hobbsan charged in October arson
Hobbs Police arrested a Hobbs man on Monday on a warrant alleging he set fire to a local residence in October.
Edgar Flores-Valenzuela, 35, was charged with arson causing damage of more than $20,000, a second-degree felony, in connection with a residential fire Oct. 20 in the 400 block of West Byers in Hobbs.
A witness told police at the time she’d gone to the home to visit another individual, then left to go shopping. The witness told police when she returned, she saw Flores-Valenzuela leaving the home and, as she got closer, saw fire and smoke inside.
The witness called 9-1-1 as she watched the fire get bigger.
Officers were on scene when Flores-Valenzuela returned, according to the report. Flores-Valenzuela then allegedly told officers he’d started the fire. The witness confirmed for police the only person near the residence when the fire started was Flores-Valenzuela.
Police contacted the individual who reportedly rents the property, who said he was at work and couldn’t come to the scene. Flores-Valenzuela was detained and officers learned he was also wanted on an unrelated outstanding warrant, according to the report.
After agreeing to speak to police, Flores-Valenzuela denied being inside the house, stating he was in the backyard when the fire started, according to the report.
He said he didn’t know how the fire started.
Fire investigators with the Hobbs Fire Department made an initial determination the fire was arson. The fire reportedly started in the living room of the residence, investigators found. There was no one inside at the time of the fire.
Total damage to the home was estimated at $27,400. Flores-Valenzuela is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Dec. 6 before Judge Willie R. Henry.