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Woman charged with murder, arson

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Alayna Renee Sherrod

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BY GENE METRICK AND WILLIAM F. WEST
Staff Writers

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

A Nash County woman is facing murder and arson charges after a dead body was found in the ashes of a mobile home that burned down Tuesday.

Alayna Renee Sherrod, 32, of 7515 Strickland Road in Bailey, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and arson late Tuesday night following the discovery of a man’s dead body inside a mobile home that was destroyed early Tuesday morning by fire in a rural area northwest of Bailey.

The body of Marcelino Ponce-Gonzales, 59, was discovered in one of the bedrooms of the mobile home at 7515 Strickland Road after a search warrant was obtained not long after firefighters extinguished the blaze,Nash County Chief Deputy Brandon Medina said in a press release.

Medina said it was clear to investigators from the start that the cause of the fire was suspicious.

The first call about the fire came in at 6:01 a.m. and the fire was brought under control at 6:43 a.m., said Bill Trimmer, an Emergency-911 shift supervisor.

Ferrells Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Rusty Peed, who was one of the responding firefighters, said flames were coming out of the front door of the residence.

Peed said part of the roof of the residence had fallen in, which made going inside unsafe and hampered fire suppression efforts.

Additionally, Peed said there was concern about a liquefied petroleum gas tank being adjacent the residence, so efforts included keeping the tank cool to prevent an explosion.

Peed said firefighters from the Bailey and Stanhope fire departments also responded. He said three trucks and about 15 firefighters were at the scene.

Sherrod is being held without bail and is scheduled to make her first court appearance today in District Court in Nashville. 

Medina said anyone with any additional information about the case is urged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 252-459-4121.

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