Five Coweta men accused of burning down a house and shared it on social media are now facing criminal charges.
Stone Lloyd Matheson, Brandon Andrew Nino, Lanier Daniel Brooking, Bryan Thomas Libourel, and Collin Landon Gwinn are currently facing charges of first degree arson and criminal damage to property, authorities said.
The incident occured in the early morning hours of April 18 when the five men entered the home on 558 McIntosh Trail and reportedly smashed windows and furniture while consuming alcohol, according to Lt. Ryan Foles with the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office.
The fully furnished 4,400-square-foot home belonged to a local investment group, although no one had been actively living in the residence for several months, Foles said.
As the flames grew to over 15 feet high inside the living room, the group of men were heard cheering in the background, Foles said.
“The five men then left the house without attempting to extinguish the fire or contact 911,” Foles said. “Ultimately, it was a neighbor who eventually saw the flames and called for help.”
By the time firefighters arrived, the home was fully engulfed and the roof had nearly collapsed, according to Coweta County Fire Inspector Enrico Dean.
Because of the enormity of the fire, the Georgia Forestry Commission was called to create a break around the home to keep the fire from spreading. The home was a total loss.
In the days that followed, Dean received a tip that eventually led to the arrest of the five men involved. The video evidence was shown to each individual.
“Each one admitted their own involvement and implicated the others,” Foles said. “None of them had any explanation for being out there or doing what they did.”
Foles believes the five men caused around half a million dollars worth of damage to the home.
Matheson, 19, Nino, 20, and Libourel, 18, are currently being held at the Coweta County Jail. Brooking, 19, and Gwinn, 20, were released on $53,000 bond, according to jail reports.
CLICK IMAGE FOR VIDEO: In a video taken at the scene, Brandon Andrew Nino is reportedly seen lighting a couch on fire.
CLICK IMAGE FOR VIDEO: As the flames grew to over 15 feet high inside the living room, the group of men were heard cheering in the background, Foles said.
Before the blaze: The 4,400-square-foot home is seen from an image taken from Google Maps.
In images captured following the massive fire, very little of the house is left. None of the suspects called 911, according to investigators.
Photos courtesy of CCSO.