Frankfort, Ky. (CBS CLEVELAND) — A man indicted on arson and burglary charges allegedly set fire to a woman’s home after she rejected his advances on Facebook.
Frankfort police say the “disturbing” reason that James Graham, 37, broke into a 22-year-old single mother’s Franklin County home and set it on fire on Nov. 28 is because she “rebuffed” several uncomfortable comments he posted to her Facebook wall, WLEX-TV reports.
Investigators say Graham set Joanie Yount’s Hillview Drive home on fire in November, although she and her 3-year-old son were not home at the time.
“You can actually see from my window standing up on the couch, you could actually see inside there and you couldn’t see no flames, all you could see was smoke,” Samantha Beagle, Joanie’s neighbor and sister, told WLEX. Beagle said there was no relationship between her sister and Graham and that Yount is a busy single mother who “just wants people to leave her alone.”
Yount says she and Graham were only acquaintances but he was demanding something more and pursuing her through social media.
“He was writing on all my pictures talking about how beautiful I am and let him take me out. I had actually told him to stay off of my Facebook, so he may have gotten offended over that,” says Yount, adding that she asked Graham to leave her alone after a series of posts that made her uncomfortable.
Frankfort Police Maj. Robert Warfel called the incident “disturbing.”
“This is one of those tragic situations where somebody is now without a home and for such a minor reason,” he told WLKY-TV, noting that Graham had “rebuffed” comments he made on some of her Facebook photos.
Police say Graham broke into Yount’s residence days later before setting a box on fire near her bed before fleeing the scene. And although police collected evidence that led them to Graham, Yount says he wasn’t hiding the alleged crime from anyone.
“He was walking around bragging about it and saying he wouldn’t have to pay the price,” Yount told WLEX.
Beagle said that the fire leaves her sister with “nothing,” but that things could have been much worse.
“It could have got a whole lot worse. And I just wonder, what if she was in there? What he would have done to her if she was lying in her bed before he set the house on fire?” she told WLKY.