Preliminary hearing waived in Cape arson case

Friday, December 16, 2011

The man charged with burning down a Cape Girardeau office complex waived his right to a preliminary hearing Thursday and will be back in court next month.

Mark K. Carleton, 26, is charged with second-degree arson after he allegedly started a fire Nov. 21 with papers and a lighter, destroying the office complex at 1707 N. Mount Auburn Road. During a brief court appearance Thursday in front of Cape Girardeau Circuit Court Judge Gary Kamp, Carleton waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

Carleton's lawyer, Mary Patricia Tucka, declined to comment on the case.

Carleton worked for RGIS Inventory Services, which occupied two of the building's offices. He was on the scene when fire crews arrived, and he offered to take them in the building to show them where the fire was, according to the probable-cause statement.

According to the statement, Carleton was carrying a respirator mask and told an emergency service responder and a police officer at the scene that he set the fire because he was upset with a recent pay cut.

He is in the Cape Girardeau County Jail on $100,000 bond. At his first court appearance Nov. 28, Carleton was declared indigent.

The office complex was condemned by the city Nov. 22. Most of the seven businesses that occupied have found temporary office space.

Carleton is set to be in court again Jan. 9.

Pertinent address:

1707 N. Mount Auburn Road, Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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