2 indicted for arson in Middletown; homeowner said it was racial - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

2 indicted for arson in Middletown; homeowner said it was racially motivated

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MIDDLETOWN, OH (FOX19) -

A Butler County grand jury indicted two of three men arrested in July in connection with a fire that destroyed a garage in Middletown. The owner of the home said the fire was racially motivated.

James Thompson, 19, was charged with arson connected to the fire on Woodside Blvd. along with Trevor Skief,19, and Wesley Hudgel, 19.

On Wednesday, Thompson was indicted for aggravated arson, arson, disruption of public services and obstructing official business. Hugel was indicted on the same charges. 

The jury declined to return charges against Skief, who was originally charged with aggravated arson, arson, disrupting public services, possession of drugs and other charges.

All were initially charged with intimidation, but those charges were dropped. 

Jacqueline Moore has lived in her home for 17 years and said  her neighbors had been taunting her, which is why she believed the fire was racially motivated.

"I've been getting harassed. It's like three houses on the block. They all gather up on the porch next door. They sit out and call us names the N-word you know. Throwing beer bottles at me," she said during a July interview. 

[RELATED: Victim of burned garage says it's racially motivated]

 Investigators with the Middletown Fire Department said the teens stole a flare gun and shot it into the window of the garage.

The fire not only destroyed her garage, but damaged three homes nearby.

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