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Arson plot leads to arrest of three men

Don Osbourn

Mike Milling

Three men have been arrested for allegedly attempting to intentionally set a home on fire in Pearl River County according to Pearl River County Sheriff Department Chief Deputy Shane Tucker.

Tucker said that the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department (PRCSO) received a tip on Tuesday, October 10th, that Don Osbourn, age 54, of 3624 Highway 43 North, Picayune, wanted to hire someone to burn down his neighbors home. According to the tip, the arson was planned to occur on Wednesday evening, October 11th, while the homeowners were at church service, Tucker stated.

PRCSO coordinated with the Mississippi Fire Marshal’s office, Lamar County Sheriff’s Department, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, and Pine Grove Volunteer Fire Department, to develop an observation on the target property and the potential victims to ensure their safety.

According to Tucker, shortly after the homeowners left for church, the team observed an individual carry containers and a ladder to the target residence. As the team moved in, they apprehended the individual, Mikel Milling, age 43, of 54019 Highway 433, Slidell, pouring an accelerant into the attic. Milling was arrested on scene.

The ensuing investigation revealed that Don Osbourn hired Milling to burn the target house. Both were arrested and charged with Attempted First Degree Arson and Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Arson.

Another suspect, Joseph Gilley, age 43, of 43301 Gator Lane, Slidell, was arrested on Friday, for his alleged involvement in the plot.

Tucker stated that a security element was assigned to the homeowners during the entire operation to ensure their safety. The homeowners told authorities they were grateful for law enforcement involvement in this incident.


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