A Batesburg-Leesville farmer has been charged with 10 counts of arson following a series of barn fires early Wednesday in Saluda County, the State Law Enforcement Division said in a news release.
Joshua Eric Matthews, 34, allegedly admitted to setting three barns and multiple bales of hay on fire on property owned by Josh Drafts and Odell Shealy.
Members of the Circle, S.C., fire department found a barn on Hutto Island Drive fully engulfed in flames when they arrived around 2 a.m. By 3:45 a.m., two more nearby barn fires and multiple other small fires had been reported.
Investigators found evidence at several of the fire scenes linking Matthews to what were determined to have been intentionally set fires, affidavits stated.
Matthews was charged with three felony and seven misdemeanor counts of arson.
No motive for the arson was released by SLED.