Tampons soaked in lamp oil and then tied to a cotton stalk and lit was used to torch a cotton field near Tuttle in November 2011, according to an affidavit in a felony arson case filed Thursday in Grady County District Court.
Keith T. Kinnunen, 35, of Tuttle, is charged with third degree arson for "maliciously" setting the fire at 1400 S. Cimarron Road. If convicted, he could be sentenced to 15 years in prison and/or fined as much as $10,000.
A warrant for Kinnunen's arrest is outstanding.
A Grady County deputy sheriff learned of Kinnunen's involvement in the arson after talking to a young male relative and the boy's stepfather.
The stepfather told the deputy the youth was with Kinnunen for several days leading up to Thanksgiving and that on Nov. 22 and 23, Kinnunen had lit some fires, including the torched cotton field. According to the affidavit, the youth related that he was with Kinnunen when lamp oil and tampons were purchased. The youth also told the deputy that he and Kinnunen played "fire football," in which a football is soaked in an accelerant, set on fire, and tossed back and forth. The youth said he knew the game was unsafe, but was afraid Kinnunen would become angry if asked to stop.
The youth said later that night he was a passenger in Kinnunen's car when Kinnunen pulled to the side of the road, took the tampons that were soaked in lamp oil, tied them to a cotton stalk and set them on fire.
The stepfather added that he and his wife rented a trailer to Kinnunen, and after he was jailed Nov. 28 on an unrelated felony, they cleaned out the trailer and found half a bottle of lamp oil and a package containing two tampons. Not realizing then that the items were used in committing a crime, they threw them out, according to the affidavit.
Investigators attempted to interview Kinnunen at the Grady County Jail on Dec. 7, but he requested a lawyer.