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Plymouth Man Arrested for Arson, Pointing a Loaded Fire Arm and Killing a Domestic Animal

September 10, 2019

arson-arrest1A 60 year old Plymouth man was arrested on Friday, September 6th by County Police for Arson, Pointing a Loaded Firearm and Killing a Domestic Animal.  He was lodged in the Marshall County Jail on a $25,000 cash bond.

Court papers say that James Malkowski is alleged to have set the home at 2866 Plymouth LaPorte Trail near Walkerton on fire on Monday, July 29th.

MugShot_james malkowskiCounty Police Officer Ryan Hollopeter conducted an investigation during the fire and determined that a vehicle parked in the driveway belonged to Malkowski.  While five fire departments worked to extinguish the blaze a search warrant was issued because it was suspected that he may have perished in the fire.  Officers from the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department and an Investigator from the State Fire Marshal’s Office searched the structure and did not find his body.

Officers spoke with Malkowski’s girlfriend and she told police she had received a text message from James earlier in the day stating he was going to burn down his house and kill himself.

Marshall County police secured the crime scene and assigned a deputy to remain at the scene overnight. The officer located Mr. Malkowski during the overnight hours and he was transported by ambulance to the hospital to be evaluated.

On July 30th Malkowski agreed to speak with police and admitted to consuming alcohol on the day of the house fire but told police he didn’t remember setting the fire.

On August 1st police meet with Malkowski’s girlfriend who gave a statement and allowed police to view her cell phone which showed a video of Malkowski pointing a gun at her and texts which indicated he was going to burn the house down.

On August 6th a special investigator with Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance contacted police and said Malkowski had filed an insurance claim for the loss of his residence due to the July 29th fire.

On August 7th the report from the State Fire Marshal’s office indicated an undetermined cause for the house fire.  The report also indicated that a canine was found dead in the house fire.

Officer Hollopeter believes probable cause does exist to arrest James Malkowski for the crime of Arson as a level 4 felony, Killing a domestic animal as a level 6 felony and Pointing a Firearm at a person as a level 6 felony.

Malkowski was arrested last Friday morning and booked into the Marshall County Jail for the stated charges and held on a $25,000 cash bond.

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