State trooper arrested for arson, fraud

Published 12:12 pm Saturday, June 21, 2014

Former State Georgia trooper Kyle Duke was arrested Thursday as the result of an ongoing investigations being conducted by the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia Fire Marshall office.

According to information provided by Capt. Terry Philips, investigator for the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office, Duke was arrested at the sheriff’s office where he had been interviewed regarding an ongoing fuel theft investigation.

Duke was charged with felony theft by taking and for allegedly making false statements. He was also arrested on a warrant from the Fire Marshall’s office for first-degree arson and insurance fraud. He was released the same day on bond.

Email newsletter signup

The investigation that prompted his arrest on fuel theft has been ongoing since January 20, 2014, when fuel was reported stolen from BASF property. Ray McCoy, manager of W.F. Jackson Construction, Co., a contractor with BASF mine operations, noticed fuel shortages and called the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office reporting they were missing anywhere from 1000 to 1200 gallons of diesel fuel from the mine’s tanks.

Deputy Sgt. Jason Williams responded to the call and noticed a recent fuel spill. McCoy reportedly indicated the oil tanks were all locked, but there was a key missing.

Williams followed the spilled fuel trail all the way to a residence on Bettstown Road. The residence was that of Raymond Brown and his adult son, Lamar Brown.

Sgt. Williams observed in the yard of the residence a full fuel tank with what appeared to be off-road diesel fuel. He reportedly questioned Lamar Brown about the fuel and he denied any knowledge of it.

While the officer was still on the scene, Duke allegedly arrived to talk with Lamar and asked Lamar if he and his girlfriend, Kathryn Kendall King weren’t parked at the mine site the previous night.

After further investigation, Lamar Brown was arrested on January 24, 2014, and his girlfriend was arrested January 27, 2014. Both were charged with felony theft by taking. Further investigation then led to the arrest of Duke Thursday.

With regards to the charges against Duke of arson and insurance fraud filed by the Fire Marshall’s Office, per the Decatur County Sheriff’s office, deputies had been dispatched on May 28, 2014 to a vehicle accident and fire that occurred on Duke Wells Road.

After the initial investigation, the vehicle was towed to the Sheriff’s Office and the fire marshal was contacted.

The subsequent investigation of that auto fire led to a warrant of arrest from the fire marshal for Duke, who was arrested by Capt. Gale Bowyer on charges of first degree arson and insurance fraud.

The investigations are ongoing at this time.