Jonesboro man must repay $65,000 in arson case

Photo by Hugh Osteen

Photo by Hugh Osteen

A Jonesboro man pleaded guilty Monday to deliberately setting his house on fire in order to collect the insurance, officials said.

Tony Ray pleaded guilty to first degree arson in Clayton County Superior Court, said Clayton County Fire & Emergency Services Battalion Chief Jacque Feilke. Ray was sentenced to 10 years on probation and ordered to repay $65,000 to Liberty Mutual Group.

In exchange for his plea, prosecutors dropped three other counts of arson and one of insurance fraud.

Feilke said firefighters arrived March 25, 2008 at Ray's home at 670 North Pointe Knoll Court in Jonesboro, to find it "totally engulfed" with flames coming from every window and the roof.

The Ray family collected $65,000 in insurance proceeds from Liberty Mutual Group, which Ray must repay, she said.

-- Kathy Jefcoats