Former Chambers Co. Assistant DA arrested on arson charges

VALLEY, AL (WTVM) - The Valley Police Department has made an arrest in connection with an October arson of a home.

Former Assistant District Attorney of Valley, Roland Lewis Sledge, was arrested Jan. 3 after he admitted to police he started the Oct. 21 fire at his home on 305 US highway 29.

The deputy fire chief says Sledge methodically set up the home for it to burn.

"When you have fires in different locations in a big house like that tells us right there those are red flags," says Kerry Pickard,  Deputy Fire Chief of East Alabama District.

The former assistant district attorney was charged with second-degree arson.

"They noticed there were propane cylinder and gas can sitting not too far from the front door. Those again are red flags," Pickard said.

The arson charge is a felony which could lead to over a year in prison.

This isn't Sledge's first run-in with the law. According to police, He was terminated after allegations surfaced he was practicing as a private attorney and allegedly misappropriated funds while acting as a conservator for a minor child.  He was charged in the case.

When admitting he was behind the arson case, police say Sledge wouldn't exactly say why he did it.

"No motive was forthcoming, but If I had to guess, they were having a lot of problems,"  said Maj. Mike Reynolds with Valley Police.

"It's one of the easier crimes to admit, but one of the harder ones to prove," Pickard added.

Sledge confessed to setting the fire. He was then brought before District Court Judge Calvin Milford where his previous bond for theft charges was revoked.

He was then taken to Russell County Jail where he is being held.

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