Genius arsonist sentenced in Missouri

A Missouri man was sentenced today to 12½ years in prison for arson on the Mark Twain National Forest and assault of a U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officer; U.S. District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh sentenced Lucas G. Henson, 37, of Iron County, Missouri, and ordered him to pay the USFS about $7,200 in suppression costs for the fires he set. According to a report by Henson pleaded guilty in March to assaulting the LEO, along with arson and felon in possession of a firearm.

KSDK News reported that Henson last year set three fires across Butler and Wayne counties, which damaged seven or eight acres of National Forest Land. He also pointed a crossbow at a Forest Service officer.

U.S. Attorney Sayler Fleming of the Eastern District of Missouri said Henson was in the forest after he’d crashed a stolen truck while fleeing from the truck’s owner. He also faced multiple other charges including first-degree robbery, stealing a motor vehicle, and resisting arrest.

He is due in New Madrid County Circuit Court in July.

According to Fleming, Henson was out on bond after being charged with stealing and drug offenses, when he stole a Ford van on October 22, 2022 near Poplar Bluff. He abandoned the van when it ran out of gas. Later that day, he broke into a camper and stole items from it. The next day, he stole a Dodge pickup, then burglarized a home and stole a 9mm handgun. He also stole a crossbow from a workshop near that home.

When the truck’s owner found Henson, Henson pointed the 9mm at him and drove away. Law enforcement officers then joined the pursuit. Henson eventually crashed the truck on Mark Twain National Forest land, then started a fire and attempted to burn the handgun 😜 and the other stolen items before trying to escape into the forest.

Officers began tracking Henson with dogs, and when they approached he started his next fire. Henson started another fire when officers approached him again.

He later aimed a crossbow at a U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officer, as well as other officers, before taking off again. He was eventually caught near the Black River. Besides the USFS the case was investigated by the Butler County Sheriff’s Office, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Shelton prosecuted the case.

THANKS and a tip of the hardhat to Dale.