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State Fire Marshal: Arrest made in Tallahassee hotel arson case

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Posted at 3:27 PM, Apr 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-01 15:55:39-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — State Fire Marshal and Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis announced Friday that an arrest had been made in a Tallahassee hotel arson case.

Robert D. Walker, Jr. was arrested for allegedly committing arson at the Wyndham Garden Hotel on Apalachee in February 2022.

On Feb. 4, 2022, the CFO’s Division of Investigative and Forensic Services was requested by the Tallahassee Fire Department in reference to a suspicious structure fire that occurred at the Wyndham Garden Hotel at 1355 Apalachee Parkway.

Hotel employees noticed smoke coming from the exterior wall. The scene examination revealed severe fire and heat damage to the exterior portion of the wall. To aid in fire suppression, TFD removed portions of the wall.

During the overhaul, TFD personnel removed a 3-foot 1x1 wooden spindle that appeared to be used to start the fire. The investigation led to the identification of Robert Walker, Jr. as the primary suspect in the fire.

“Arson is a costly, dangerous, and wasteful crime and it will not be tolerated in Florida," CFO & State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said. "Thank you to the Tallahassee Fire Department for their quick work that saved lives and prevented a tragedy at this Tallahassee hotel. If you commit arson, my detectives will find you and hold you accountable.”

On March 18, 2022, Walker was arrested and booked into the Leon County Jail on charges of arson. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in jail.