Lake Andes man arrested after pouring gas, lighting home on fire, police say

Callers also said the suspect had broken out windows at the residence

Lake Andes.jpg

LAKE ANDES — A Lake Andes man is facing serious jail time after authorities say he lit a residence in town on fire.

Keeler Hopkins, Jr., 40, of Lake Andes, was charged with first-degree arson, intentional damage to property and resisting arrest as a result of the incident.

Shortly after 10 p.m. on Dec. 6, authorities in Charles Mix County responded to multiple 911 calls reporting Hopkins, Jr., had started the outside of a residence on fire in the 500 block of High Street. Callers also said he had broken out windows at the residence.

Upon arrival, officers spoke reporting parties who said Hopkins, Jr., had gone back inside his own home. When police knocked, nobody answered the door.

First responders then turned their attention back to the fire, they noticed siding to the home had been burnt, and a gasoline odor could be smelled on the house. It was observed that gasoline was still wet on the exterior of the home, windows were broken along the side of the structure and holes were punched in the siding.


The home’s resident said he was inside watching TV when he heard windows break and someone “yelling about raping kids.” The resident was one of multiple reporting parties.

The following day, at 10:01 p.m., one of the investigating officers spotted Hopkins, Jr., at another residence in town. When he knocked on the door and threatened to kick it down, Hopkins, Jr., responded from inside.

Court documents say after making entry, an officer located Hopkins, Jr., in the kitchen, holding two large knives. Hopkins, Jr., allegedly refused orders to get on the ground, and a struggle broke out.

Hopkins, Jr., was arrested and transported to the Charles Mix County Jail. He faces Class 2 and Class 6 felony charges, plus one Class 1 misdemeanor. If convicted on all three counts, he faces up to 28 years in prison, a $56,000 fine or both.

Hopkins, Jr., is due in a Charles Mix County courtroom on Dec. 20 for an arraignment.

A South Dakota native, Hunter joined Forum Communications Company as a reporter for the Mitchell (S.D.) Republic in June 2021 and now works as a digital reporter for Forum News Service, focusing on local news in Sioux Falls. He also writes regional news spanning across the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
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