By Kelly Young

Four people were arrested last week by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department for allegedly setting fire to a Gallatin house last month.

Judith C. Cooper, 18, of Jacksonville; Paul D. Cooper, 21, of Jacksonville; Rowdy S. McAnally, 19, of Stanton; and Christopher L. Kowalski, 18, of Jacksonville were all charged with arson-felony 2.

The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department received a call in the early morning hour of Oct. 31 about a fire at a residence on County Road 1418 near the Gallatin community, according to Chris White, the sheriff’s office chief investigator.

“Deputy Sergeant R. Parsons began investigating the incident, and soon learned that the occupants of the home had been recently having trouble with several teenagers in Jacksonville over the last several days,” White said.

Parson’s investigation has led him to believe the fire was a result of bitter break-up between Judith Cooper and her ex-boyfriend. According to White, family members on both sides of the relationship became involved in the dispute — with both sides becoming involved in incidents requiring the intervention of the Jacksonville Police Department in the days prior to the arson.

“Witnesses say that Ms. Cooper, along with family and friends, traveled to the ex-boyfriend’s home in Gallatin with the intention of burning it to the ground using homemade devices commonly known as Molotov cocktails,” White said.

Due to Parson’s investigation, CCSD was able to obtain arrest warrants for the four suspects. Judge Brenda Dominy, justice of the peace for Precinct No. 1, set the bond for all four individuals at $50,000.

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