Police: Man tried to kill occupant in house fire

By: By Gavin Stone - Staff Writer

ROCKINGHAM — Hamlet police last week charged a Rockingham man with attempted murder after a devastating house fire.

Police allege that Oziah Terrell Rush, 26, of Ledbetter Road set an East Columbia Avenue residence on fire with the intention of killing its inhabitant. The contents of the home, in Hamlet Housing Authority housing, were destroying in the blaze, according to warrants for Rush’s arrest.

It is unclear how Rush allegedly started the fire or whether anyone was injured in the incident. Warrants also do not contain information about Rush’s alleged motive.

Rush is charged with one felony count each of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree arson and burning personal property, as well as one misdemeanor count of injury to real property.

Warrants show that Rush has pending felony charges from May, when is he is alleged to have stolen a 2004 Dodge Dakota, a wallet containing $200 in cash, an iPhone 6 Plus, eyeglasses, a bank card, a driver’s license and a Social Security card, all worth an estimated $2,070. He also allegedly punched the owner of the items in the face.

The offenses resulted in one felony count each of larceny of a motor vehicle and larceny, plus one misdemeanor count of assault and battery for Rush. He also has pending misdemeanor charges of assault on a female and communicating threats, jail records show.

Rush is being held at the Richmond County Jail in lieu of a $515,500 bond. He is to appear in court Sept. 10 and Sept. 13 on the above charges.

Records with the N.C. Department of Public Safety show that Rush has no previous convictions in North Carolina.


By Gavin Stone

Staff Writer

Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674 or [email protected]

Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674 or [email protected]