UPDATE: Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2023, at 3:13 p.m.
Waylon Buckingham has two additional charges filed, in addition to his two arson charges and criminal trespass charge. His new charges are for burglary of buildings, one on April 8, 2023, and the second on May 2, 2023. His bonds for arson and burglary now total $550,000.
UPDATE: Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2023, at 12:16 p.m.
Another arson charge with an additional bond of $300,000 has been filed against Waylon Buckingham, for an alleged arson on April 12, 2023. No details are available yet on that new charge. In addition, Wichita County Sheriff David Duke says Buckingham is being investigated as a suspect in some suspicious fires in the county.
WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Local authorities’ suspicions that one or more arsonists could be responsible for many of the fires in past weeks are now possibly confirmed, with charges filed against a man on a suspicious house fire Monday, when two other grassfires also were burning in the same area.
Waylon Buckingham was arrested Tuesday, September 20, 2023, and charged with arson in connection with a structure fire Monday morning in the 2000 block of Maurine. The bond was set at $200,000. He also was charged with criminal trespass.
A WFPD Tactical Unit officer who had been investigating the recent fires, along with a fire marshal’s office investigator, had already identified Buckingham as a person of interest in recent suspicious fires, and on Monday, he was notified of two grass fires, one on Kiel, one on Iowa Park Road and a structure fire on Maurine.
Officers began searching around the area of the fires and said Buckingham was seen driving his pickup in the area. Officers followed the truck through the area until he pulled into a gas station parking lot at Beverly and Iowa Park Road. They said he parked facing the structure fire on Maurine, but never got out.
After a while, they said he drove to a parking lot of a liquor store and again parked facing the fire.
He then drove toward the grass fire on Iowa Park Road but found roads closed due to the fire, and then drove to his residence on Sand Beach where he went inside, carrying in bags from Walmart.
Officers then went to the area of the structure fire and began canvassing the neighborhood, looking for security footage.
They located a resident near the fire who had footage and said it showed the pickup pulling into the driveway of the house on Maurine 10 minutes before the fire was reported and backing out about 3 minutes before the fire was reported, and again, driving by the house after the fire was reported.
Investigators also went to the closest Walmart to the fires, the one on Central Freeway, and viewed security video. They said it showed the pickup arrive and Buckingham going inside about 10:40 a.m., two hours before the fire on Maurine was reported, and leaving at 11:30 a.m. The first grass fire on Kiel was reported at 11:42 a.m.
Authorities said the videos showing Buckingham’s truck at the structure that caught fire, driving around the area and parking to watch the fires provide probable cause Buckingham was involved in arson.
Buckingham has 4 previous arrests, including burglary and assault.
This is a developing story. Stick with Texoma’s Homepage for updates as more information becomes available. All individuals charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.