Neighbor of Essex home detroyed by fire charged with arson, attempted murder
12:56 PM, Feb 5, 2014
6:10 AM, Feb 6, 2014
ESSEX, Md. -
Video from a cellular phone shows smoke billowing from the back of a home on Essex Avenue destroyed on Tuesday by fire, and now the victim's next door neighbor, 65-year old John Wesley Mosley, Jr. has been charged with setting it intentionally.
"He had a bow and arrow and he was shooting darts in the back of her house," said Debbie Nickles, one of the victim's neighbors. "She thinks for just target practice for whatever he shot over to start the fire and fire investigators were here this morning and they could show spots in the back deck where there was flammable liquid traces that were left."
According to charging documents, police discovered a pistol-type crossbow and arrows in the suspect's garage along with containers of gasoline.
They also discovered more arrows in his car when he was stopped a short distance away after the fire.
Deputies had been to Mosley's house five times last month, and the victim, Catherine Smith, told them Mosley blamed her and her roommate for calling them.
He scribbled addresses and threats on the front of his house, threw a gallon bottle filled with urine in their back yard and would venture outside to yell and scream at his neighbors for no reason.
"He told Rose that she was going to die... that day and that he was going to blow up the whole neighborhood. That's exactly what he said," Nickles said.
As news of Mosley's arrest reached the community, even those whose addresses appeared like a list of enemies around his front door, say they're not breathing easy just yet.
"No, because you know what I think is going to happen? He's going to go in there and he's going to tell them that he's nuts and he doesn't remember anything and they're going to declare him insane," said Nickels, "He's going to get out in six months."
Mosley is being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center with no bail on charges of attempted first degree murder, arson and assault.
His victim suffered burns to her hands and smoke inhalation before workers passing by rescued her from the second floor roof.