A man with a long criminal history in Texas and Oklahoma is in the Taney County Jail facing arson charges.
Paul Bryant, 51, is facing 5 to 15 years in prison if convicted on a charge of Arson in the First Degree after a fire at the Hall of Fame Motel, 3005 West 76 Country Blvd. in Branson.
Court documents say around 3:40 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 3, the Branson Fire Department and the Branson Police Department were dispatched to the Hall of Fame Motel after reports of an active fire alarm. They arrived to discover “an active commercial structure fire.”
Firefighters approached room 3517 and attempted to gain entry to fight the flames, but the door was blocked by a mattress leaning against it. When they were able to move the mattress they discovered the mattress, curtains, and other furnishings in the room were ablaze.
While the fire was being extinguished, Bryant approached police officers and said the fire was taking place in his room. He said he didn’t know the fire was in his room until he came back to the hotel.
After further investigation, Bryant was questioned again, and admitted he had started the fire in a trash can. He said he started the fire with paper and a lighter to keep “people in the room from hurting him.”
Bryant is currently in the Taney County Jail being held without bond.
More on the story can be read at the Branson Tri-Lakes News Website.
(Excerpt of story by Jason Wert, Branson Tri-Lakes News)