Fifth suspect arrested in conspiracy to burn down huge home for insurance payout
WALKER - The fifth and final suspect involved in a scheme to burn down a huge home for an insurance payout has been arrested following a two-year investigation.
According to the Louisiana Fire Marshal's Office, deputies located 39-year-old Tabatha Bankston in the Wisner area on Friday, January 4. She was subsequently booked into the Franklin Parish Jail as a fugitive from Livingston Parish. She will be transported and booked into the Livingston Parish Jail for one count of criminal conspiracy to commit simple arson.
In August of 2018, four others were arrested in the alleged plot to burn down a 6,700-square-foot home on Weiss Road for insurance money:
• Jerry Avants, Sr. of Walker, 55, was booked into the Livingston Parish Jail on one count of Arson with the Intent to Defraud
• Adrian Lee Everett of Prairieville, 42, was booked into the Livingston Parish Jail on one count each of Simple Arson and Arson with the Intent to Defraud
• Tammy Bankston Everett of Prairieville, 42, was booked into the Livingston Parish Jail on one count of Criminal Conspiracy to Commit Simple Arson
• Herman Severio of Walker, 73, was booked into the Livingston Parish Jail on one count each of Arson with the Intent to Defraud and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.
According to the Louisiana Fire Marshal's Office, investigators found the home was apparently emptied of personal belongings before it went up in flames. They also learned that Avants allegedly made comments about the large insurance policy he had on the home, and had mentioned having someone burn it down prior to the blaze.
Investigators say Adrian Lee Everett admitted to setting the fire at Avants' home in order to receive part of the insurance payout.
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