These press releases were created soon after Ron was released on bail after spending 13 days in jail immediately after the fire.
Some details may be superseded by better and more accurate information.
Original Press Release
Facts about the Meadows Fire on May 19th, 2018
- 1. The fire began many minutes prior to approximately 11:45-11:47 p.m., with lead time required to sense the smoke ionization and/or heat of the fire, to trigger, initiate and activate the automated alarm system. Ronald was not in the building at the time the fire began. The Bountiful City police detained and interrogated him all night. A gas container was found in the back of his truck in the parking lot of the apartment complex. Earlier that night, Ron unintentionally spilled gasoline on his pants and shoes at a parking lot near a public well where he went to obtain drinking water. The well is next to a church parking lot (200 East 200 South, Centerville, UT) where the gasoline spill created marks in the asphalt.
- 2. While Ron was being interrogated on site, the night of the fire, without a lawyer or counsel present, the police forced him to remain outside without a coat or any protection from the cold weather. They also denied him an opportunity to get his medication to take to the jail.
- 3. After being arrested Ron was held incommunicado without defense and due process until the day of his arraignment 13 days later. Ron’s (friend retained), private attorney, wife, friends, and church leaders were not allowed to see him. The phone system did not allow them appropriate communication either. The court did not offer him an attorney until minutes before his court hearing. The private attorney retained by Thomas Rodgers, first tried to contact Ron at the jail 4 days after the arrest but was not allowed personal contact until Ron was being brought into court 13 days later.
- 4. After only one and a quarter days at the Davis County Jail, the fire department investigator and the detective from the Bountiful Police Department attempted to intimidate Ron and tried to force him to sign a confession against his will, mind and knowledge.
- 5. Ron is on disability and his wife is visually and physically impaired. At the time of the incident, Ron provided for her care. They were planning to be sealed (eternally married) on the following December in the Manti Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was Sunday School President of the “Meadow’s Branch.”
- 6. In his past, Ron was an honorable Certified Licensed Public Professional Safety Officer until his declining health and disability interfered. His first concern that night of the fire was the safety and well being of his fellow occupants at the Meadows apartments, many of whom are amputees, crippled, blind, hearing impaired, deaf and otherwise handicapped, including his own wife.