Texas Forest Service law enforcement officers thoroughly investigated the fire after determining the origin was suspicious. They then turned the case over to the Hardin County District Attorney, who reviewed the findings and presented them to a grand jury.
An indictment is not an indication of guilt; rather that a grand jury believes there is enough evidence to warrant a trial.
As mandated by the 34th Texas Legislature, Texas Forest Service enforces all laws related to the protection of forests and woodlands and prosecutes violators. Arson is a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in a state jail facility and a fine of up to $10,000.
"We investigate arson and we bring those we catch to justice. It was regrettable that it was one of our own employees," said Mark Stanford, fire operations chief with Texas Forest Service.
Mansfield worked just one year for Texas Forest Service. He was terminated in June