Inmates set fire in jail for attempted escape


Three men housed at McLennan County’s Jack Harwell Detention Center can add arson and attempted escape to their list of felony charges after officials say they started a fire in their jail cell.

“We believe that this was the fire was started to try an escape attempt,” said McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara.

“Two of the individuals were charged with capital murder and murder out of Hays County. The other individual is a local guy,” said McNamara.

According to the affidavit filed by the McLennan County Sheriff’s Department, inmates Brandon Arron Fritze, Kyle Sample and Andrew Martinez grabbed items from their cells and set it all on fire – sending four foot flames in front of the doorway.

“We’re still assessing the damages because we haven’t repaired everything, but we were able to get the fire out pretty quick,” McNamara says.

Interviews with other inmates suggest they were mad over broke phones.

“You got smoke that obviously goes through the wings, and so you’re always dealing with that if someone sets a fire. So its a dangerous situation, what they did,” said McNamara.

Brandon Fritze is from McLennan County, and is being charged with arson and attempted escape.

As for the other two men who are facing murder and capital murder charges from Hays County, McNamara says: “They have charges pending, and right now they have been sent back to Hays County to stand trial for the very serious charges that they are charged with down there.”

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