Northwest NEWS

February 8, 1999

Front Page

Duvall man charged in arson fire

Police say suspect planned to die in mobile home blaze

by Lisa Allen, Valley View editor

   DUVALL--Court documents charging a man with setting fire to his home and two other buildings last month say he intended to kill himself in the fires because he was angry with his wife, but changed his mind at the last minute.

   William G. Carlyle, 34, is being held in the King County Jail on $250,000 cash bail. He has been charged with one count of first-degree arson, one count of malicious mischief, and two counts of felony harassment.

   The felony harassment charges stem from an incident in which he allegedly threatened his wife and her alleged former lover a few days before the fires were set at their double-wide mobile home on NE 120th Street, south of Duvall.

   According to court documents, Carlyle, a carpenter, had learned recently that his wife had had an extra-marital affair. On Jan. 10, he exploded in a fit of rage about the affair, threatening her while she was holding their 6-month-old child and punching holes in the wall of the mobile home.

   Police say he told her he wanted a divorce, then he got his guns and clothes and began loading them into the family van, continually yelling at her and threatening her former lover and his family.

   Carlyle's wife called 911 and the man Carlyle had threatened. Police arrested Carlyle as he drove away from the residence. A search of his vehicle produced a rifle and a shotgun, one of which was loaded.

   Documents indicate Carlyle called his wife from jail and threatened to kill her when he was released. Carlyle's wife told an officer she did not wish for her husband to be charged for this threat, but called to see when he would be released so she could leave the house before he got home.

   Carlyle posted bail on Jan. 14. The arsons occurred on the same day at about 1 p.m. Charging papers indicate he appeared in court for arraignment on the felony harassment charges the following day, after which he fled to Cle Elum.

   A tip from a family member led police to Carlyle's location, where he told police and investigators from the Fire Marshal's Office that he "decided the best way to get back at my wife was to make her, just get her to feel like she killed me. I wanted to die. And blame her for it," said charging documents.

   Carlyle admitted to spreading gasoline through the house, the barn, and the pump house, and lighting it, said court papers. He said he planned to die in the fire initially, but stated, "No, I, I decided I couldn't kill myself. And I lit the house as I exited," papers said.

   Carlyle also admitted to breaking belongings in the house prior to setting the fire and to putting more holes in the walls.

   A neighbor phoned in to report the fires at about 1:08 p.m. When firefighters arrived on the scene 10 minutes later, they found all three structures burning. An investigation revealed gasoline had been poured in at least two of the structures and ignited.

   According to the Fire Marshal's Office, the fire damage to the structures was estimated to be more than $300,000.