Cash-only bond set in alleged arson


A $50,000 cash-only bond was set Friday for a man who allegedly set fire to his girlfriend’s bed while she was lying on it Thursday.

Jefferson County District Judge Kim Bridgforth set the bond after ruling prosecutors had probable cause to charge Earvin Hamilton, 35, with arson, aggravated assault and terroristic threatening.

Pine Bluff Police Detective Jerry Lambert reported that officers were sent at 11:30 a.m. to a house in the 3300 block of Iris Street to assist the Fire Department with a reported disturbance and fire.

The victim reported that she and Hamilton had argued and he told her he was “going to kill her and burn her house down.”

Lambert reported that the victim said she was going into the bedroom to watch television and while she was lying in the bed, smelled smoke and “looked up to see Hamilton set the mattress on fire.”

The victim said she tried to put out the fire but was unsuccessful and called the fire department, which extinguished the blaze.

Lambert reported that Hamilton admitted arguing with the woman and setting the mattress on fire but said he was “going to put it out.”

Hamilton was reportedly from Columbus, Ga., and according to the probable cause affidavit from Lambert, “said he was going back.”

Lambert also reported that Hamilton had a lengthy criminal record and had served a prison sentence for arson.

In addition to setting the bond, Bridgforth ordered Hamilton to have no contact with the victim until the case is settled and told him to come back to court Feb. 8.

Hamilton said he would hire his own attorney.