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Man accused of setting fires inside Mattapan home held without bail

Man accused of setting fires in Mattapan home
Man accused of setting fires in Mattapan home 02:16

BOSTON - A 30-year-old Mattapan man is being held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing, charged with setting fires inside a Mattapan home Tuesday afternoon.

"It smells like propane and gasoline in here," said the homeowner, Tanea Smith. She was at home when she says she heard glass suddenly breaking.

Suspect allegedly threw bottle with accelerant    

Ladarell Murchison is charged with breaking and entering and arson, accused of first trying to break into Smith's front door, then smashing the front window and setting curtains on fire. He then allegedly lobbed a plastic bottle with accelerant through her back door after smashing the glass that set a small fire in the kitchen.

"I heard the glass break first," Smith said. "I stood there for a while shocked and amazed and thought it was me just hearing things."  

Ladarell Murchison Mattapan arson
Ladarell Murchison is charged with breaking and entering and arson in Mattapan CBS Boston

Smith says Murchison is a childhood acquaintance but has no idea why he would allegedly target her. "I would say really frightening, really scary not used to this in this neighborhood," said Smith. "I just basically backed away and begged for him to leave."

A neighbor who called 911 but didn't want to be identified worried it could have escalated. "It was surprising and would have been more frightening if he followed through with his intentions, but it looked like he panicked. I think he wanted to set the place on fire."

Attorney says suspect needs treatment    

His attorney John Himmelstein unsuccessfully argued that Murchison needs help not jail time. "He should not remain incarcerated, he needs to be home with his mother helping her, and mandated to receive the treatment he needs," said Himmelstein.

Tanea Smith says she hopes he does get help. "He really needs a lot of therapy for whatever is going on his life," Smith said. 

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