UPDATE: Accomplice wanted in Speed Street fire death

Published 2:34 pm Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Authorities are searching for a man said to be the accomplice of the Vicksburg woman accused of setting a fire that killed 75-year-old Ernest Gleese Friday night in a home on Speed Street.

According to the State Fire Marshal’s Office, 74-year-old Albert Thomas is wanted on charges of first degree murder and arson in connection with the fire.

Carolyn Mansfield, 50, was arrested by Vicksburg Police Department Tuesday and charged with arson and murder after allegedly starting the deadly fire at 508 1/2 Speed Street.

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Officials with the Fire Marshal’s Office said Thomas is Mansfield’s boyfriend and a bench warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Mansfield  appeared before Judge Penny Lawson in Vicksburg Municipal Court Wednesday morning. Mansfield received a $1.75 million bond and was bound over to the Warren County Grand Jury.

Fire Marshal’s Office Supervisor Kevin Butler said in a release it is believed the fire was set after an argument over drugs.

Vicksburg Fire Chief Derrick Stamps was on the scene during Friday’s fire and said the call came in at approximately 10:35 p.m. and reported a fully involved home.

Firefighters arrived on the scene and quickly extinguished the blaze on the backside of the house before uncovering Gleese’s body.   

This is a developing story. More information will be released as it is made available.