West Memphis arson suspect has numerous arrests - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

West Memphis arson suspect has numerous arrests

West Memphis Police say Keltric Gilmer started a fire inside a townhouse on September 14 to cover up a burglary.

15 year-old Nick Wilson died in his upstairs bedroom. His mom had to jump from a window to save her life.

"I still haven't gotten my brain around that whole thing because as a mama I can't imagine one of my kids being gone, especially that way," says neighbor Patti Spain.

Drue Akers skate-boarded with Nick Wilson two days before his death. He was relieved when Gilmer was arrested and charged.

"I don't know about relieved, but it has calmed me down a little to know something's happened," says Akers.

He wonders why Gilmer was still on the streets considering his extensive criminal history.

"Seven misdemeanor arrests stemming back from May of this year," says West Memphis Assistant Police Chief Mike Allen.

Charges include theft, disorderly conduct, and fleeing from police. The 18 year-old was arrested four times in September alone. The last time was for loitering. Keltric Gilmer was sitting in jail on that loitering charge when he was charged, with among other things, setting the deadly fire. And while it's quite a leap from a string misdemeanors to arson and murder, police are secure in their case.

"We feel confident the suspect we have in custody is rightfully charged," says Allen.

"If he is the one, I hope they do what they need to do to make sure he doesn't do it again," says Spain.

Keltric Gilmer is set to be arraigned Wednesday in West Memphis District Court. That's when he will formally hear the charges against him. He will likely remain in jail until his trial. Capital murder is not a bondable offense in Arkansas.

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