Police: Teenager breaks into home, starts fires

Police: Teenager breaks into home, starts fires (Reporter: Jon Erickson)

NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY - A Craven County teenager is accused of breaking into a vacant New Bern house and setting several fires inside the structure.

Willie Midgette III, 16, set the fires inside 824 Eubanks St., according to New Bern Fire Marshal Danny Hill.

Midgette is not charged with arson because the house was vacant, Hill said.

Instead, Midgette is charged with burning certain buildings and breaking and entering.

The incident happened Saturday morning, Hill said.

Midgette remained in jail Wednesday night.

The fires damaged the inside of the house, Hill said.

There was no visible fire damage to the exterior.

The suspect's step grandmother, Margaret Jones Bryant, said Midgette was troubled and she tried to counsel him.

"I talk to the young folk and I tell them what's right and what's wrong, but they don't want to listen," Bryant said.

Midgette suffers from mental health issues, according to a separate grandparent.

He broke into the home because he did not have a ride home and started the fires for light, that grandparent said.

It is unclear whether Midgette attends school.

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