Man allegedly set girlfriend's home, car on fire



VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - Volusia County fire officials said a man set a car and home on fire because he was angry with his girlfriend, Deborah Jeffers.

Deputies said the woman woke up Monday morning and saw her live-in boyfriend, 49-year-old Troy Ladd, dumping gasoline over the furniture in their New Smyrna Beach home on Mallonee Road.

Officers said she ran outside to find her car engulfed in flames.

Frank Yarborough lives on Mallonee Road right across from where the fire was started.

"The dog woke us both up barking, so I ran out there and the car was totally engulfed in flames coming out of both sides of it," Yarborough said.

Jeffers told deputies that Ladd started the fire by burning his clothes, a TV and an Xbox in the back yard. Out of frustration, Jeffers told Ladd to kill himself. She says she went back to sleep, but woke up to find her SUV on fire and Ladd pouring gas in the living room.

"She was pretty well distraught and everything and uh, he was … he was just standing around calm and cool and collected," Yarborough said.

Firefighters believe Ladd started fires in all three spots using gasoline.

"He put her in a bad situation because now she's nowhere to live, she ain't (got) a car to get back and forth to work or nothing," Yarborough said.

When deputies questioned Ladd, he said, "You might as well go ahead and arrest me," and would not say anything else.

Deputies said since Ladd did not try to wake his girlfriend to warn her about the fire, he is now charged with attempted murder and arson, and is being held without bond.

Jeffers says Ladd has not been diagnosed with any mental illnesses and does not take prescription drugs. Ladd has arrests dating back to the '80s relating to prostitution and, more recently, DUI. Ladd was already on probation for fleeing and eluding and DUI with property damage.