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Man arrested for Mexia library arson

Martin Ogeda
Posted at 4:54 PM, Oct 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-24 19:06:50-04

MEXIA, TX — A man has been arrested for the arson of the Gibbs Memorial Library in Mexia.

A Limestone County Grand Jury handed down an indictment for 26-year-old Martin Anthony Ogeda of Mexia for arson and criminal mischief greater than $300,000.

Belinda Cotton and her daughter said they've waited on an arrest for weeks.

"I'm glad that somebody was apprehended. I hope that they follow through and make sure that the right individual was apprehended," she said.

Around 4:15 a.m. on Saturday, September 28, city dispatchers received a call from a neighbor of the library, located in the 300 block of Rusk, reporting smoke and flames coming from the east wing.

Firefighters managed to save the west wing of the Gibbs Memorial Library, but the east wing was lost as fire burned through the roof.

"It wasn't hard to see once we got inside," said Fire Marshal Damian Hullum who adds he found ample evidence of arson.

"A back door had been broken, not shattered, and the window directly adjacent to that had been broken completely, with a brick laying inside the building," he explained.

Ogeda is a current resident of the Mexia State Supported Living Center. He was taken into custody by the Mexia Police Department and Mexia Fire Marshal's Office and transported to the Limestone County Jail.

Mexia Chief of Police Brian Bell said he hopes this case leads to closure.

"People want to know why this happened. It was a huge impact on our community. It was a great loss. Do I think we'll find that out? I hope so," said Chief Bell.

Belinda Cotton hopes it leads to prison time if a jury finds him guilty.

"A crime is a crime, it doesn't mater who committed it. Anybody who destroyed that much in this community needs to be put behind bars," she said.