A Greenbrier man accused of setting fire to his big rig in the Greenbrier McDonald’s parking lot last month pleaded not guilty Monday to arson allegations.
According to a probable cause affidavit, the Greenbrier Police Department responded to the vehicle fire around 8 a.m. Aug. 15. Authorities later learned through Builders Transportation Co. LLC Safety Director that 44-year-old Tee Jay Harris was the driver of the truck.
Harris is currently being held in the county jail in lieu of a $50,000 bond on suspicion of arson.
His attorney, Lori Mason, requested on Monday that Circuit Judge Charles "Ed" Clawson Jr. consider further reducing Harris’ bond. Harris was previously being held on a $100,000 bond.
Harris was not on scene while authorities worked to extinguish the flames Aug. 15. He was later seen walking back up to the burnt rig and security footage shows him leaving as flames are seen coming from the truck.
While watching McDonald’s surveillance video, police noted seeing Harris pull up to the rig in the maroon dodge shortly before 8 a.m. Aug. 15. Authorities also noted seeing Harris get out of the same vehicle that was parked at a nearby parking lot and walk up to the burnt rig around 9:20 a.m.
"[A Greenbrier officer] observed two segments of video showing the dodge truck pulling up next to the Freightliner, subject exiting the pick up and entering the Freightliner," the affidavit reads. "After entering the Freightliner the subject remained in the vehicle approximately 3-4 minutes. [The officer] observed on the video when the subject exited the vehicle smoke was also exiting the vehicle. The subject closed the door and returned to the dodge and began to drive off and [the officer] was able to observe the smoke coming from the Freightliner before the subject could flee the scene."
Harris told the officer on scene that he’d parked the rig behind McDonald’s around 11 a.m. Aug. 14, also stating he had an 8 a.m. doctor’s appointment in Greenbrier on the day in question.
Prior to his arrest, Harris reported a laptop and an I-pad missing from the rig.
Clawson agreed to set a bond hearing at 1 p.m. Oct. 16.
He also scheduled a Jan. 3 pretrial in Harris’ case.