Arson victim speaks out after third suspect arrested
HARDIN COUNTY, Tenn. — Three people are charged in an October barn fire in Hardin County.
Patty Smith, 42, Bradley Balentine, 30, and now Nick Duncan, 30, are all charged with one count of criminal conspiracy to commit arson.
“Since we got the folks involved, hopefully, they need to pay full restitution of the $40,000 that was owed to me,” Randy Ferrara said.
Ferrara owns an Angus cattle farm and says it’s been a long road to recovery trying to rebuild after the barn and over 200 bales of hay went up in flames.
“Being out $40,000 is a big hit for me, and that’s why I’m requesting full restitution immediately,” Ferrara said.
According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Duncan was the mastermind behind the arson.
Ferrara says he knew Duncan.
“He did a fabrication job for me about a year ago,” Ferrara said.
From the ashes, a new barn is built.
“We are finished with the barn, and we have been purchasing hay from a lot of ranchers who have been so helpful to let me buy some,” Ferrara said.
According to the TBI, Duncan was released after posting a $10,000 bond.
Balentine and Smith had been arrested previously and now face additional charges. They remain behind bars.
“If they can get out on bond money, they can certainly cough up the restitution,” Ferrara said.
Ferrara says if you have a problem, say it to his face.
“If you have a problem with me, which I’m not aware of any problems, don’t go behind my back and burn my barn. Come to me personally and we can talk about it,” Ferrara said.
Ferrara says the money used to rebuild the barn was taken out of his retirement and savings account. He says he will now have to work hard to put the money back in.
Ferrara says he is thankful to law enforcement for staying on top of the case, and also local ranchers for letting him borrow hay.