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WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2007
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Man accused of setting fire to girlfriend's vehicle accuses her of the same

As soon as Samuel Billings finished filing a report claiming his girlfriend set fire to his vehicle, police took him to jail — on charges of setting fire to her vehicle a month earlier.

Police said Billings, 37, of 901 Bain St., Hartselle, allegedly lit a 1993 Lexus on fire on 19th Avenue Southeast at Locust Street on Sep. 20.

Officers dispatched to the 600 block of 15th Avenue Northwest at about 5:30 a.m. Friday found Billings near his flaming, smoking sport utility vehicle, said Lt. Frank DeButy, a police spokesman.

Billings told police that he saw his girlfriend fleeing the scene when he discovered his SUV ablaze, DeButy said.

Investigators said Billings was apparently unaware they had obtained a warrant charging him with first-degree criminal mischief in the September incident.

Though the Billings was the alleged victim in this case, police arrested him at the scene.

Morgan County Jail released Billings on Saturday on $750 bond.

No one has been arrested yet in the burning of Billings' vehicle.

Seth Burkett

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