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Columbia man charged with arson, ill treatment of animals

Lexington County deputies have arrested a Columbia man as part of an investigation into a fire last month at a Charleston Highway business.

Christopher Dwayne Tillman, 26, is charged with arson, burglary and ill treatment of animals, according to arrest warrants.

“After reviewing security cam video from the early morning hours of Feb. 28, detectives determined Tillman unlawfully entered the office of a business in the 2200 block of Charleston Highway,” Lexington County Jay Koon said. “Evidence shows Tillman using an incendiary device to cause a fire, which resulted in a total loss for the business.”

Christopher Dwayne Tillman

Tillman was terminated as an employee of the business a week before the fire, according to Koon.

“The ill treatment of animal charge stems from the death of the family dog detectives confirmed was trapped in the office as the fire destroyed the building,” Koon said.

Tillman later cashed a business check for $3,800 he wrote to himself out of a check book damaged in the fire, according to Koon.

Investigators arrested Tillman Monday. He’s been released from the Lexington County Detention Center on his own recognizance.

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