Arson suspect allegedly burnt Mills rental property and his own truck

Greg Lejune makes his initial appearance in Natrona County Circuit Court on Thursday afternoon in Casper. Lejune, originally from Fort Hood, Texas, is accused of felony arson for two fires in Mills earlier this year. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — Greg Lejune has been charged with two counts of second degree arson. The criminal investigation headed by the Mills Police Department allege his involvement in four fires in Mills and four fires in Texas.

Lejune is facing the felony charges for his alleged involvement in two of the Mills fires.

He appeared before Judge Michael Patchen on Thursday, July 11 in an initial court appearance, but the judge said he could not accept a plea because the arson charges are felonies.

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An affidavit provided by the Natrona County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office describes the charges facing Lejune.

District Attorney Daniel Itzen informed the court that Lejune was being charged with two counts of second degree arson for allegedly “unlawfully and maliciously” starting a fire “with intent to destroy or damage” a truck.

The second count alleges Lejune started a fire with intent to destroy a building at 515 Riverview Drive in Mills.

Lejune is alleged to have lit his own truck on fire by igniting a bag of trash in the vehicle using his wife’s cigarette lighter on April 3.

Corporal Roden of the Mills Police Department responded to reports of a vehicle “fully engrossed in flames” near the intersection of Fifth Street and Wasatch Avenue at about 10:12 pm, according to the affidavit.

While taking photographs of the truck, Roden observed several explosions coming from inside. Roden made contact with a man saying he had shotgun shells in the back seat. That individual was later identified to be Lejune, the truck’s owner.

Fire investigators were unable to determine the cause, but the affidavit adds that Lejune later admitted to starting this and other fires in interviews with Mills Police Detective Terry Good.

The other fire that Lejune is being charged with allegedly starting occured on May 24. Mills Police Officer Keith Pike responded to a fire at 515 Riverview at about 9:03 pm and when he arrived on scene neighbors were using their water hose to try to put out the fire.

The structure on fire was a small rental property with a storage area in back. The items in the storage area belonged to the property owner’s deceased son, according to the affidavit.

The fire investigator was again unable to determine the cause of the fire, though it was thought to have been caused using an open flame.

While police suspect Lejune started another May 24 fire, he is not facing felony arson charges for his alleged involvement.

Officer Pike responded to this fire at about 11:50 pm. This fire was a garage at 501 Wasatch. Lejune and his wife were living at this residence along with other individuals.

One individual living at 501 Wasatch told Pike that Lejune’s wife informed him of the fire. She was reported to have been the only one in the house awake when a neighbor knocked on the door and told her of the fire.

The Mills Fire Department thought the fire was likely started in a pickup truck parked next to the garage using an accelerant.

During interviews with Mills Police Detective Terry Good, Lejune admitted to starting the truck fire and the 515 Riverview fire. During a June 6 interview, Lejune told Good that he started his truck on fire because he was having financial troubles, the affidavit says.

He thought that not having to make vehicle payments would help with his financial problems, he told Good.

During that interview, Lejune initially said that he’d heard of other fires in the area and “figured that he could blame his truck fire on the person who set the other fires.”

But later in the interview Lejune admitted to Good that he started the 515 Riverview fire by igniting sticks and leaves with a cigarette lighter which spread and started the garage on fire.

While being interviewed by Casper Police Detective Alyssa Bedke, Lejune admitted to starting a fire in a vacant residence in Copperas Cove, Texas using a lighter and building materials there.

In a June 27 interview, Lejune admitted to starting that Copperas Cove property on fire a second time.

Lejune told Good that a contractor working to remodel the house offered him $500 to burn it down.

In that June 27 interview, he again admitted to starting the three fires he had admitted to in the earlier interviews.

Lejune denied starting the fire at the garage of his residence or another fire at 211 Midwest. But Good recommended Lejune be charged with these other fires because they appeared to have been started using similar methods, the affidavit states.

All of those cited or arrested are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law. Charges are subject to change following official filings from the respective offices of involved District Attorneys.