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Pair faces arson charges

JONESBORO — A Riverdale man has been arrested for arson in connection with a July 25 blaze that forced a mom and her toddler to jump from a second-story window, said authorities.

Derek Keith Thompson, 41, was arrested Monday and is being held in the Clayton County Jail. He is expected to make his first appearance Tuesday in Clayton Magistrate Court.

Warrants issued to Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services Capt. David Vazquez allege Thompson purposely set fire to a home on San Jose Trail. Thompson allegedly told Earnica Latrice Lowe to act as a lookout while he set fire to an upstairs bedroom at the home.

Lowe reportedly told police she saw smoke emanating from the home as she and Thompson fled the scene. There was no motive listed in the warrant.

The warrant alleges Darryl Clark was the intended target. However, Lessie Cooper and her 2-year-old child had to escape the blaze by jumping out a bedroom window, alleges the warrant.

Court records show Lowe, 26, of Griffin, was arrested July 27 and is being held on $25,000 bond in the Clayton County Jail. Her preliminary hearing is set Aug. 14.

Thompson has a lengthy criminal history in Clayton and is a registered sex offender. Court records show he was convicted of sexual battery in 1999.