ROCK SPRINGS – A Green River man is facing up to five years in prison following an incident where he is alleged to have attempted burning down a residence. Joseph Jay Carr, 36, made his initial appearance before Circuit Court Judge Craig Jones to a felony charge of attempted arson in the third-degree Thursday afternoon. The charge carries a possible penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. Carr’s bond was set at $100,000 cash or surety. A preliminary hearing to determine probable cause was set for Dec. 13 at 3 p.m.
Carr attempted to have his bond lowered, saying he is married and has six children that rely on him to provide for the family. He also offered to wear an ankle bracelet. However, Jones noted arson is a violent crime and accepted the recommendation proposed by the Sweetwater County Attorney’s Office.
According to court documents, the Green River Police Department Officers Kyle Delisser and Michael Bond were dispatched to a residence Dec. 5 at about 2:14 a.m. At the residence, they contacted the two reporting parties. Earlier that night, at about 12:28 a.m., one of the parties received a call from a restricted number and upon answering recognized the voice as Carr’s. Additional calls were received at about 1:22 a.m., and 1:50 a.m. The second reporting person answered the later call and when they informed Carr they weren’t speaking to the initial person he called, then alleged Carr became upset.
They claim Carr said he was outside their residence and read both the license plate number of a vehicle used by one of the parties, as well as the residence’s address. While on the phone, one of the parties received an alert from their backdoor security camera while the two were in the residence. Once the alarm was activated Carr walked away from the home.
Documents state Bond reviewed the security footage from the rear door security camera and noticed a male wearing dark clothing and wearing a dark-colored hat walking to the back door of the residence. In the video, the person had a bottle in his right hand and a dark object later identified as a long fireplace lighter. The person kicked the back door multiple times, then took the bottle in his right hand, and raised it above his head. He directed it towards the door and waved if back and forth in front of his body. He then took the fireplace lighter and held it in front of the door for several seconds. During officer interviews, one of the reporting parties alleged they overheard Carr make a threat of burning the residence down.
When Bond went to the back door of the residence, he noticed a brown spot that was about 6 inches by 6 inches at the bottom of the door, along with two small areas near the top of the door frame that appeared to be pooling an unknown liquid. Bond swabbed both areas and sent the swabs to the state crime lab to be tested for lighter fluid or another flammable substance. The officer noted a strong smell of lighter fluid at the back door.
When Carr arrived at the GRPD for an interview, court documents claim he admitted he was the person in the video and claimed he called while sitting in his car across from the residence. He claimed he attempted to “pour his heart out” to the person he called, but when the other person informed him he wasn’t talking to his intended party and called him obscene names, he became angry. He told officers he isn’t a violent person but went to the back door and pounded on it before running off after the alarm activated.