Third arson suspect appears in court

29-year-old Michael Lowery, Source: Columbus Police Department
29-year-old Michael Lowery, Source: Columbus Police Department

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – A man wanted in connection with an arson that occurred at a Columbus pharmacy appeared in Recorder's Court Tuesday morning.

Twenty-nine-year-old Michael Lowery pled not guilty to charges of arson, conspiracy to commit arson, and criminal damage to property.

Lowery was arrested after a week-long search by authorities.

Officials say Lowery is connected to a fire that destroyed River Road Pharmacy & Gifts back in September.

It was previously ruled to be an electrical fire,  but investigators later reopened the case after receiving several tips from the public.

At the moment, no bond has been set for Lowery.

Last week, a mother and her son were arrested in connection with the same arson case.

Twenty-seven-year-old Bobby Jo Burkett, pled not guilty to his charges. A judge issued bonds totalling $65,000 for arson, conspiracy to commit arson, and criminal damage to property. 

His mother, 49-year-old Lillian Burkett faces bonds for the same charges totaling $40,000.

John Logan, Jr., the owner of River Road Pharmacy & Gifts, issued the following statement Thursday, March 18th:

We are grateful for the hard work and diligence on the part of the arson investigation team in reopening the investigation into the devastating fire we experienced at our business on September 27, 2009.  This fire was obviously a huge disruption to our business and our lives, and we are hopeful their investigation will bring those responsible to justice.  We are grateful to our many loyal customers that we continue to do business with in our new temporary location, 5156 River Road, Suite E.  We are looking forward to breaking ground on our new building in our original location in the very near future.

News Leader 9 is following this story. We'll have the latest information as soon as it becomes available.

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