On June 29, 2023, an inmate set a fire in a pod at the Columbia County Detention Facility. Upon further investigation, the suspect was identified as Royon Ward, 22 of Magnolia. He is currently being held for fleeing, failure to pay registration, no proof of insurance, criminal mischief - 1st degree, tinted windows, disobey stop sign, felony fleeing, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident with property damage, possession of a controlled substance (felony) with no bond. His new charges include 10 counts of attempted murder, impairing the operation of a vital public facility, and reckless burning. His bond was set today, June 30, 2023, at $2.5 million dollars at his first appearance in front of Honorable Judge David Talley, Jr.
Ward put jail staff and the other inmates’ safety at risk with the setting of the fire. Several inmates were transported to MRMC ER for observation and returned back to the detention facility.
Along with the damage from the fire, there are also numerous work hours from several agencies including Magnolia Police Department, Magnolia Fire Department, and Columbia County Ambulance Service.