ASP: Suspect Sets Man On Fire; Charged With Capital Murder

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HUNTSVILLE (KFSM) -- A Springdale man is facing a capital murder charge after he set a man on fire at a Huntsville home, according to an arrest report from Arkansas State Police.

Travis Allen Bell, 36, was arrested Saturday (Sept. 12) in the murder of Tommy R. Moffett, 56, on Sept. 1, according to the report.

The murder happened at a home located at 14864 Highway 12 in Huntsville, the report states. The fire was confined to the bedroom and after it was put out, agents found Moffett's burned body in a bed, according to the report. Agents also found a small, plastic gasoline can and several unlit matches outside the bedroom door, the report states. When they rolled Moffett's body over the agents noticed a strong odor of gasoline and discovered a piece of furniture nearby with suspected blood on it, as well as hair fibers, according to the report.

Agents also found several unspent .22 caliber rounds near Moffett's body and discovered the hottest part of the fire was at the foot of the bed, near the victim's feet, the report states.

From interviews, agents gathered Bell and Moffett were roommates at one point, according to the report. Witnesses who knew both men told investigators Moffett did not like Bell because Bell had tried to hurt a child he had with his girlfriend and Bell kicked and dumped Moffett's puppies while Moffett was in the hospital at one point, the report states. Another witness told agents Bell suspected Moffett was having sex with Bell's girlfriend, according to the report.

The Madison County Sheriff's Office arrested Bell on Sept. 1 on unrelated warrants, the report states. When he was released, someone drove Bell to Ma & Pa's Bent and Dent store where witnesses said he was pacing back and forth while talking on his phone and appeared to be high on something, according to the report. Another witness told investigators Bell was wearing motorcycle riding gear, which he was seen wiping down in surveillance video from the 412 Express gas station, the report states.

In another interview, a witness told agents Bell was enraged Moffett had some of his belongings and was wearing his clothes, according to the report. The witness also said a week before Moffett was murdered, Bell threatened to cut Moffett and burn his house on him, the report states.

Another witness told agents Bell stated he was going to prison for a long time for murder and the victim was Moffett, according to the report.  When the witness asked Bell if he killed Moffett, Bell said all the evidence would look like he did it, the report states.

Bell is being held at the Washington County Detention Center on $250,000 bond and his arraignment date had been set for Oct. 12, according to jail records.

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