Killeen arson investigators filed charges against a 22-year-old man who allegedly set fire to his own vehicle to get out of car payments.

Orean Tyler Harris was charged with arson. Justice of the Peace Garland Potvin arraigned Harris, setting his bail at $50,000.

Killeen firefighters responded to a vehicle fire out just outside city limits on Feb. 15. A Nissan Altima had sustained substantial heat and fire damage, according to an arrest affidavit.

A Killeen fire marshal determined the fire was set and contacted the vehicle’s owner, Harris.

Harris told police the Altima was stolen that morning.

However, the investigator knew that to start the Altima, the electronic key would have to be in close proximity to the vehicle, the affidavit stated.

Both Harris and his roommate told investigators neither of them left their residence between a few hours before the fire was reported and the time investigators contacted them.

However, surveillance footage from a construction site across the street from Harris’ home showed a Nissan Altima followed by a vehicle matching the description of Harris’ roommate, leaving their residence 30 minutes prior to the fire being reported, the affidavit stated.

A review of cellphone tower records also placed Harris’ phone closer to the scene of the fire than to his residence at the time of the fire. Investigators also found a pair of 12-inch speakers and an amplifier inside Harris’ home after he told investigators the equipment was destroyed in the fire.

The investigator later discovered Harris was two months behind in his car payments.

Also arraigned on unrelated charges were the following:

Shelly Denise Wise, 43, on a charge of possession of a controlled substance, less than 1 gram. Wise’s bond was set at $25,000.

James Darrell Dixon, 50, on a charge of possession of a controlled substance, less than 1 gram. Dixon’s bail was set at $20,000.

Vanessa Jo Young, 48, on a charge of possession of a controlled substance, less than 1 gram.

Marissa Lynn Meredith, 21, on a charge of credit card abuse. Meredith’s bail was set at $20,000.

Contact Philip Jankowski at or (254) 501-7553. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcrime.

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