published Monday, July 7th, 2014

Man charged with lighting house on fire with his baby inside

A 56-year-old man is facing charges of attempted criminal homicide and aggravated arson after witnesses said he lit fire to a Hixson home with his three-month-old baby inside this weekend.

Dispatchers received a call regarding a structure fire at 1045 Boy Scout Road at 4:41 a.m. Sunday and officers found a vehicle burning in the driveway with the house also on fire.

Robert Allen Sherrill is accused of starting the fire just hours after the mother of his child confronted him at the Motel 6 on Lee Highway about retrieving some of her property.

Amy Bice, 38, told investigators that Sherrill threatened her and their infant daughter by saying he was going to burn their house down with them inside and that they better hide their car as well.

Then at 1:30 a.m. Sunday - just hours before the flames - Bice told police she received a call from Sherrill in which he said "I will get you before you get me."

As she returned home from Waffle House at 4 a.m., Bice said Sherrill passed her in his truck before turning around and trying to run her car off the road.

The infant was in the car, she said.

About an hour later, Bice told police she smelled something burning and opened the garage door to to see her vehicle in flames.

Another resident of the home told investigators that she had seen Sherrill running down the driveway to get in his truck just minutes before.

A brother of a resident who lives nearby pulled the burning vehicle out of the garage with his Jeep in an effort to keep the flames from spreading to the house, he told investigators.

A judge dismissed a domestic aggravated assault charge against Sherrill in 2012.

His record also includes charges of reckless driving, criminal trespassing, driving on a suspended license and theft of property.

Sherrill remained at the Hamilton County Jail on $150,000 bond Monday. He is scheduled to appear in Hamilton County General Sessions Court July 15.

1045 Boy Scout Road
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