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Starkville Police Department authorities have arrested and charged Christopher Lee Steed, 35, with arson after he allegedly set fire to a mobile home in The Pines Manufactured Home Community on 1000 Louisville St., Apt. No. 30 Oct. 24.
Steed, whose home address is 40051 Valley Chapel Road in Hamilton, was the owner of the structure but did not live there, according to an SPD release.
Detective Stephanie Perkins said Steed was subleasing the mobile home to another occupant, who was behind on his rent. Because the occupant was behind on his rent, Perkins said, Steed was behind on his mortgage.
"He felt he needed to get out of the mortgage," she said.
According to the release, Steed lit a roll of toilet paper with a match, dropped it in a recliner in the bedroom and fled. The manufactured home was unoccupied at the time Steed allegedly started the fire.
The release states Steed submitted to and failed a polygraph test Thursday administered by Assistant Chief Fire Marshal Mike with the State Fire Marshal's Office, which he failed. Upon further investigation by Perkins and Starkville Fire Department Lt. Charles Yarbrough, Steed confessed.
Perkins confirmed Steed is out of Oktibbeha County Jail on $5,000 bond.