ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A suspect who crashed into a south Abilene home while fleeing from police is also accused of setting fire to a duplex and trying to collect insurance money.
Benjamin Hulsey, 42, is the wanted arsonist who crashed into a home on S 7th and Hawthorne Street while fleeing from deputies who were trying to serve a warrant Tuesday afternoon.
KTAB and KRBC obtained a copy of the warrant, which reveals Hulsey is wanted for allegedly setting fire to a duplex on the 600 block of Kirkwood Street in March.
“Once the fire was extinguished, a fire investigation was performed and the investigation revealed patterns on the ceiling and walls of the involved bedroom that indicated an accelerant was used,” the warrant reveals. Charcoal lighter fluid was also found at the scene.
The resident of the other half of the building said she saw Hulsey leave the apartment and lock it with a padlock, according to the warrant. A couple of minutes later, she heard an explosion and saw black smoke.
Hulsey was the resident of the apartment involved in the fire. He had been formally evicted March 2 and was set to be out by March 7. However, investigators learned Hulsey had taken out a renter’s insurance policy for $500 the day of the eviction hearing then claimed the apartment was burglarized March 5.
Deputies had to pull Hulsey’s unconscious body from his vehicle following the crash, getting him out seconds before it was completely engulfed in flames.
Following a stay in the hospital, Hulsey was officially booked into the Taylor County Jail for Arson and Insurance Fraud warrants, as well as charges for Manufacture/Delivery of a Controlled Substance, Evading Arrest, and Reckless Driving in connection to the crash. He remains held in the Taylor County Jail on bonds totaling more than $285,000.
He’s also facing several warrants out of New Mexico.