Monday, July 16, 2018

Murder/Arson Suspect To be Arraigned Today

Arson on Gage Street in Louisville
The suspect in an arson that resulted in the death of a Louisville woman and the serious injury of a minor over the weekend will appear in a Winston County Courtroom this afternoon (Monday, 7/16/2019).

Forty nine year old Fred Lee Eiland is in custody at the Winston Choctaw Correctional Facility. Eiland is accused of starting a fire in the early morning hours of Saturday of a backyard apartment on Gage Street in Louisville. At the time, the structure was occupied by one adult and four juveniles.

Merredythe Eiland, the adult,  was killed in the fire. A seventeen year old juvenile was seriously injured as well. The juvenile was transported to Jackson by air. His current condition is unknown.

Fred Lee Eiland
Winston County Arson Investigator Keith Alexander indicated that there were witnesses who placed the suspect at the scene. It is believed that a window air conditioner was removed, an accelerant was tossed into the structure and set on fire.

The victim had a restraining order against Eiland at the time of the fire. Eiland's initial charges will include: murder, arson and aggravated assault.

After discussion with the District Attorney and the Louisville Police Department, the decision was made to charge Eiland in county court due to the various jurisdictions involved. Louisville Police, Winston County Sheriff and arson investigator and the state fire marshal's office were all involved in the investigation.

Eiland was captured on Saturday afternoon in rural Winston County after a short high speed chase by officers.