Woman, “tired of looking at it,” burns down city building in Carter Co.

By: Teddy Safo Email
By: Teddy Safo Email

TATUMS, Okla. -- A Carter County woman is in jail facing arson charges after authorities say she burned a city building. While the arson charges are serious, authorities say her reasoning behind the crime is rather strange. Teddy Safo has the story.

Authorities arrested 27-year old Jernee Hooks Wednesday afternoon after she used her mother’s newspaper to torch a building in Tatums.

Authorities tell us that Hooks was visiting her mother Wednesday afternoon. Deputies say Hooks asked her mother if she had finished reading the local newspaper. That was when deputies say Hooks took her mothers newspaper, lit it on fire, and used it to torch an old wooden building belonging to the City of Tatums.

Hooks’ motive for her actions is where it gets bizarre.

“After interviewing the suspect she had stated to the effect she was tired of looking at the old building. Yes, strange...so the deputy arrested her for second degree arson," Carter County Sheriff Ken Grace said.

Tatums is located in northwest Carter County, near Ratliff City.

No one was hurt in the fire. Hooks is facing second degree arson charges.

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  • by Gwen Location: Seattle on Aug 11, 2009 at 08:16 PM
    Good! Get rid of old rotted buildings, even if arsonized. Pin medal on that woman, she earned it.
  • by dana Location: close enough on Mar 10, 2008 at 03:32 PM
    I know this girl and I know this town and she is only helping everyone out. They want to charge her for this crime and not pay to clean this town up. This town has gone down hill. It needs some TLC and one raggidy building is not hurting nothing.
  • by bos Location: fox area on Feb 25, 2008 at 12:50 PM
    You all want to condone this lady but in fact i think that she did not only the city or county a favor..but it was something that needed to be done..im sure that she at least look to see if there was anyone in there before doing it..If you are not from that area or that community you have no idea what kind of shape that building was in..but she did them a favor. her charges according to carter county's sheriff's department are 2nd degree Arson..
  • by gracie` Location: madill on Feb 25, 2008 at 11:25 AM
    sounds like a lot of places could use some fixing up. That is what the city council is for. Citizens need to let them know then they need to do their job.
  • by Jimbo Location: Ardmore on Feb 25, 2008 at 09:55 AM
    If her building looked like this one did the city would make her tear it down or they wiould give her a ticket. They should pay her for taking it down - not charge her with arson.
  • by Sue Location: OK on Feb 25, 2008 at 09:18 AM
    Who's crying, John? And, yes, opinionated, if there were transients in the building, they should be locked up. They broke the law. But I doubt they'd have been charged with much. When we quit following the law, everyone can do what they want. Sound fun? Good! I want your car (lol) and your house, your stereo, computer and all your money... What I'm saying is, you just don't burn something down because you don't like it and it's old. You contact the city, complain about it. Yes, there's tons of old buildings that need to be torn down and sometimes they just don't get torn down. But they DON'T need to be burned down by an arsonist, who just might have burned down other buildings near it by accident, including her own mother's house, or gotten someone killed. Haven't you ever seen a fire get out of control? Ask the local firemen what they think about ordinary citizens burning down derelict buildings without supervision.
  • by Opinionated Location: Ardmore on Feb 25, 2008 at 05:09 AM
    Sue, I'm not saying she did right. And yes, there could have been transients sleeping in there. And they would have been breaking the law too. Should they be locked up as well? But the fact remains, she did the town and county a service and saved them lots of money. And as I previously stated, she could have went about having it removed in another way. opinion8ed?? Do you like my name that much? LOL!!
  • by john Location: denison on Feb 25, 2008 at 04:56 AM
    Sue cry us a river, this women just did what we all want to do sometimes. she took a old junky building that was no good, falling in on it's self and she took care of it. And if i had a building that bad it should be delt with.
  • by Bill Location: Healdton on Feb 24, 2008 at 06:36 PM
    It is unfortunate that this has led to the lady's arrest. But arson, no matter what is illegal. I do believe that lieniency should be given in this particular case. Perhaps probation. It's in the judicial system's hands.
  • by Republican in Ardmore Location: Ardmore on Feb 23, 2008 at 08:21 PM
    This woman is real smart. She should be Obama's running mate if he wins the nomination!
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