Investigators spent the day Tuesday searching for evidence of arson at the former home of an Ada firefighter who, along with his wife, are accused of fraud. Jason and Holly Hamilton, both held in the Pontotoc County Justice Center on suspicion of racketeering, lived in the two-story home at 25605 County Road 3565 just west of Fittstown when it burned to the ground Dec. 26, 2011.
According to a court affidavit, the Hamiltons entered into a mortgage agreement with Holly Hamilton's grandfather to purchase the home, which he owned. Her grandfather later foreclosed on the deal because the Hamiltons failed to "make payments, carry insurance and pay taxes due on the property," according to court records.
The Hamiltons took out an insurance policy for more than $680,000 on the home 14 days prior to the fire, according to Ada Fire Marshal Justin Priest. Court records revealed an insurance claim in the amount of $649,683.90, was then filed (by the Hamiltons). The insurance company is refusing to pay on the claim due to the circumstances of the fire and the matter being under pending investigation, Ada Police Detective Destry Musgrove said in an affidavit.
An agent with the state fire marshal's office investigated the fire and determined it started in the living room.
Priest and Musgrove are part of a multi-jurisdictional task force formed to investigate several alleged crimes committed by Jason and Holly Hamilton. The group includes Pontotoc County sheriff's deputies, Ada police, Oklahoma Department of Human Services and federal authorities -- including the U.S. Secret Service.
Investigators stopped short of saying it was arson, or that the Hamiltons are suspects. The couple are accused of illegally taking money from National Livestock Credit Corporation, owned by Rick and Jennifer Campbell, Holly Hamilton's parents.
Investigators said the total amount of fraud against Rick and Jennifer Campbell's financial accounts is in excess of $385,000 which was used to purchase items such as a house, cattle, feed, veterinary medical supplies and vehicles.
Jason Hamilton is being held without bond while Holly Hamilton is held on a $1 million bond. Both will appear at a bond reduction hearing today.
Priest obtained a search warrant for the burned structure. In an affidavit filed to obtain the warrant, Priest said he would search for "Any evidence of an incendiary fire including, but not limited to: ignitable liquid pour patterns, delay devices, types of fire plants, fire trailers, possible fuses, ignition devices, and heat producing devices or materials used to make these devices, any material used to cause or spread a fire throughout the structure, or other items showing specific patterns of arson activity," Priest said.
Written by Ada Evening News
Courtesy of YellowBrix - YellowBrix