A 19-year-old in Polk County may want to consider looking into hiring a criminal defense attorney immediately after several charges were brought against him for a crime he attempted to blame on someone else. According to WFLA, Jose Bernando Rosas Madrigal first threatened to set his girlfriend’s home on fire through messages sent on the Snap Chat app and then followed through with the threats. But, before Madrigal became the prime suspect in the case, he provided statements to police officers claiming a “random black guy” was the one to blame.

While Madrigal may have thought the accusations would get him off the hook, he failed to take into account the skills and resources officials have and how they can be used to identify a criminal. Madrigal neglected to consider the security cameras that were videotaping when the fire broke out. While Madrigal had first told officers he was 25 minutes away from the scene of the crime when it occurred, the security cameras caught something else, and that was Madrigal’s truck driving by the house right around the time the fire developed.

Although he said that he simply drove past and then did so a few more times, things weren’t adding up. Perhaps his one statement where he mentioned that he saw his girlfriend’s house on fire and drove away because he didn’t know what to do raised some red flags for police. Naturally, police began to dig a little deeper and what they found contradicts everything the young man had stated.


Polk Man Planned in Advance on How to Set fire to His Girlfriend’s Home


After some investigation, it was determined that Madrigal had planned to set his girlfriend’s home on fire. And she wasn’t the only one inside. Apparently, her family was there with her at the time of the incident which makes matters much worse for Madrigal. While the Snap Chat messages were strike one, his cell phone records also showed where he had searched on Google the following, “can you start charcoal with gasoline house on fire.” When police questioned these searches, Madrigal said he was doing it so he could help his brother start the fire.

According to a neighbor, there was fluid everywhere, on the home, the car, and even a canoe. There was even a heart-shaped symbol drawn in flammable liquid outside the girl’s bedroom. If that wasn’t enough evidence to charge him, his girlfriend also mentioned that he said something “chilling” to her when he appeared back at the home after the fire broke out. She mentioned that while standing next to her, he said, “usually the one that does it comes back to see what all the excitement is about.”

While the family was able to get out of the home safely, Madrigal is now facing some hefty charges.

Anytime a person is found guilty of committing a crime or is actually guilty of engaging in criminal activity, they should consider hiring a criminal defense attorney. For Madrigal, he has a lot of evidence that can be used against him and if he wants to have any chance at having his charges reduced, he will definitely need a legal representative supporting him throughout the case.

Madrigal is currently being charged with three counts of attempted first-degree homicide, one count of first-degree arson, and possession of liquor by a person under the age of 21 after a half of a bottle of vodka was found inside his vehicle.