A man released on parole from prison three weeks ago allegedly tried to lure law enforcement officers into a VFW Lane house that he had doused with some type of accelerant.
According to Morgan County Sheriff Robert Markley, William Howard Paden, 47, Madison, had threatened to kill himself if approached by law enforcement officers one day after his wife had gone to the sheriff’s office seeking protection.
Sgt. Derrick Reid, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, said he had interviewed the woman and had acquired enough evidence to secure an arrest warrant on Wednesday, Nov. 8. Reid said he and five other officers surrounded the VFW Lane house and, using a public address system, requested that Paden come outside. Instead, Reid said, officers heard a loud “boom” and the front room of the house caught fire.
Markley said investigators believe Paden had slit both his wrists and was waiting for officers to enter the room before he set it on fire.
“I think he was laying a trap for the officers based on what we saw in the house,” Markley said.
During the encounter, Reid said, Paden broke out a back window and dropped a bloodied cat out the window. Eventually officers were able to extract Paden from the rear window. Both arms had deep vertical cuts from wrist to elbow, Markley said. Paden was taken immediately to Athens Piedmont Regional Hospital for surgery. Markley said Paden was released on Sunday from the hospital and is currently detained at the Morgan County Detention Center.
Markley said the incident began on Tuesday when the woman came to the sheriff’s office and alleged that Paden had punched her in the stomach, grabbed her by the arm and thrown her into a glass table. She also alleged that Paden drug her down a driveway by her hair and took her car keys and cell phone “making it impossible to leave the residence for two days.”
After she did leave, she received text from Paden stating that he would be “waiting on them” when officers came to arrest him.
Reid said when he met with officers regarding the best manner to arrest Paden, consensus was patience. Markley agreed.
“I think fi they would have charged in, he would have blown them up.”
Morgan County fire officials were able to contain the blaze.
Baden has been charged with terroristic threats and acts, false imprisonment, simple battery and parole violation.