BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WALA) -Baldwin County Sheriff’s investigators say two Loxley men have admitted to burglarizing and setting fire to a hunting camp Tuesday night, March 11, 2014. It happened in central Baldwin County off old Truck Trail 17. They now face burglary and arson charges.
A pile of scorched tin and smoldering rubble was all that remained of Anthony Jerkins barn and hunting camp Friday. Sheriff’s investigators said Derek Deakles and Timothy Rains confessed to setting the fire and burglarizing the camp Tuesday night. This came after investigators say evidence found at the scene and in an abandoned car pointed to them.
“Later on Wednesday, we were able to identify a suspect with the assistance of Loxley Police Department. Essentially, Investigators picked up Derek Deakles and Timothy Rains, brought them in for questioning. Both subsequently confessed to the arson and the burglary,” said Major Anthony Lowery with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office.
Lowery said the suspects also broke into three campers on the property and vandalized them. Jerkens says his camper was left in shambles.
“They had the cushions, the boards, everything like that all on the floor. They’d taken everything on the table and knocked it off…broke all kind of stuff…broke my mirror back there,” Jerkins explained.
Jerkins and others spent most of the day going through what was left of the barn just to see if there was anything they could salvage. Unfortunately, the one thing Jerkins wanted to salvage the most was in total ruins.
Jerkins spent months and a lot of money restoring an old Ford Jubilee Anniversary edition tractor that was in the barn. He says that’s what hurt the most.
“I don’t think it can be restored. It got too hot. It warped the rims and everything else so I don’t think it can be restored,” Jerkins said.
Major Lowery says alcohol use by Deakles and Rains may have contributed to the extent of the damage.
“They said they had done a lot of heavy drinking and I guess alcohol might have played a part, but it certainly didn’t lesson the amount of damage they did,” Lowery said.
Both men face four counts of burglary third degree and one count of arson second.