Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on June 24, Jamal Preston, 26, of Egg Harbor Township, was indicted on a charge of Attempted Murder in connection with a fire he intentionally set to a residential home in Lakewood on August 22, 2020. Preston was also indicted on four counts of Aggravated Arson.
According to officials, on August 22, 2020, the Lakewood Township Police Department responded to a report of a fire at a residence in Lakewood.
An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit-Arson Squad, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Ocean County Fire Marshals Office, and New Jersey State Fire Marshals K-9 Unit, determined that the fire had been intentionally set utilizing an ignitable liquid and an open flame.
Further investigation determined that Preston did, in fact, intentionally set the fire while the residence was occupied by three individuals.
Officials said that Preston fled the scene, but was arrested at a motel in Absecon by the United States Marshals Service on August 31, 2020. He has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since his apprehension.