Family involved in Wilson County arson has tough past -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Family involved in Wilson County arson has tough past

Alan Mooney, Jr. Alan Mooney, Jr.

Questions remain about what happened to a man in Wilson County after his house burned down.

No one has heard from Alan Mooney, Sr., since last week. Human remains were found on his property after firefighters responded to a blaze at his home on Armstrong Road in Statesville.

Investigators have opened an arson and homicide investigation, naming Alan Mooney, Jr., as a suspect.

Mooney, Jr., led authorities on a chase Friday evening as they tried to apprehend him in Wilson County. Police arrested the man in Murfreesboro. At this time, he's being held at the Rutherford County Jail.

It would be an understatement to call this a tough week for the Mooneys. Throughout the past five years, the family has endured accusations, a trial and other obstacles. In fact, some situations appear eerily similar and equally heart-wrenching.

Richard Mooney, 36, Alan Mooney, Jr.'s brother, was accused of killing a man before setting his house on fire in DeKalb County.

"You can't take away the fact two brothers may stand ultimately accused of a very similar crime," said Joshua Crain, Richard's former attorney. "Certainly odd."

DeKalb County deputies, the TBI and the Tennessee Bomb and Arson unit investigated the case. Richard was accused of murdering Bob Senick, 63, then setting his trailer on fire. Richard was also charged with theft. The case went to trial in 2012.

"To be very candid, I was surprised by the verdict," Crain said.

The jury found Richard Mooney not guilty on all counts. But his lawyer said even he can't ignore the striking similarities between the Mooney's cases.

"Certainly, it is an odd coincidence, an eerie coincidence," Crain said. "You have these two criminal elements, the same in each of these cases. You have an alleged homicide. And you have an alleged arson."

But Crain said he believes the parallels represent nothing more than a coincidence.

"I view Richard Mooney's case as a totally separate beam until I learn something different," he said.

The 2012 acquittal raises questions about what truly happened to Senick. No one else has been charged in his death.

"I am confused," said James Franzier, who was the first person who discovered the crime scene. "I still don't know what happened."

The Mooneys' sister said she believes the events involving her brother are completely unrelated. She also maintains Richard's innocence. She declined to go on camera Tuesday.

Richard Mooney is serving time for an unrelated carjacking charge. His next parole hearing is set for 2015.

Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan said he believes Mooney, Jr., will face charges in connection to the arson and homicide investigation after he discusses the case with the district attorney.

Investigators are still working to positively identify the humans remains found at the Statesville home.

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