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Warrants issued for estranged husband accused of arson

By Nathan Hardin
nhardin@salisburypost.com
SPENCER — Warrants were issued Sunday morning for a Spencer man accused of burning down his Steeplechase home with his stepson inside.
Spencer Police Detective Nicholas Pacilio said warrants for arson and assault with a deadly weapon were obtained for Thomas Bernard Turner.
Turner is accused of setting his home at 430 Steeplechase Trail on fire following a domestic dispute. He had not been arrested Sunday night, Pacilio said, but authorities are “actively looking for him.”
“We’re looking for him and checking with his relatives,” Pacilio said.
Sheena Hasty, Turner’s estranged wife, told the Post Saturday that her husband used a ladder to climb into their home through an upstairs window Friday afternoon.
Turner was carrying a handgun and forced her son and his friend into a bathroom before lighting the house on fire, she said.
Hasty and Turner began divorce proceedings in September after she said he poured gasoline on her during an argument and threatened to light her on fire.
Since then, she said, it’s been “up and down,” but she didn’t want to kick her estranged husband out on the street.
“He told me he didn’t have anywhere to stay. Me being a nice person, I didn’t want him to be homeless,” Hasty said. “It was the understanding that when he got a job, he was going to move out.”
But when she got home Thursday night, she said, Turner had changed the locks on the door. Afterward she told him to leave.
“I guess he was going to lock me out,” she said.
A neighbor called 911 after hearing loud noises coming from the Steeplechase subdivision home. Police initially responded in reference to the domestic dispute, but found flames coming from the house when they arrived.
Despite numerous domestic disputes, she said she never expected to find her home on fire Friday afternoon after getting a call from her son.
“Yesterday I would not have imagined that this man would have done that,” she said Saturday.
Hasty’s son, Joseph Walker, called his mother from the bathroom floor where he and his friend were lying down.
Walker said Turner was shooting wildly in the house. He said he found bullet holes in most of the home’s TVs and other appliances, before seeing smoke coming from the master bedroom on the first floor.
Neighbors said investigators were looking for shell casings Saturday morning.
Detective Pacilio said the State Bureau of Investigation assisted in the fire investigation.
“There will probably be more charges forth coming,” Pacilio said. “I just have to meet with the DA to discuss more charges.”
Anyone with information on Turner’s whereabouts are asked to contact the Spencer Police Department at 704-633-3574.
Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.

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