Man Accused of Starting Fires in Mark Twain National Forest, Assaulting Forest Service Employee
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri
CAPE GIRARDEAU – A man from Iron County, Missouri has been indicted on charges that accuse him of starting fires in the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri and assaulting a law enforcement officer.
Lucas G. Henson, 36, appeared in U.S. District Court in Cape Girardeau Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Henson was indicted December 6 on charges of assaulting a law enforcement officer, arson and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The indictment says Henson assaulted a U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officer on Oct. 23, 2022 in Wayne County, Missouri. On the same date, the indictment says he damaged United States property with fire and possessed a firearm as a convicted felon.
Henson is currently facing charges including robbery, stealing a motor vehicle and resisting arrest in New Madrid Circuit Court related to the same incident. Charging documents in that case, 22NM-CR00930, say he set three fires in Butler and Wayne counties that damaged seven to eight acres of National Forest land and pointed a crossbow at the Forest Service officer.
Charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Forest Service, the Butler County Sheriff’s Office, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office and the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Shelton is prosecuting the case.
Updated December 14, 2022