A 59-year-old who investigators believe used propane canisters to start a fire at the Clovis Walmart was taken from Lubbock to New Mexico after a Lubbock District Judge granted an extradition petition.
Jimmy Guillen, who has been held at the Lubbock County Detention Center since his Sept. 14 arrest near the intersection of 34th Street and Quaker Avenue, appeared Thursday in the 140th District Court for an extradition hearing.
Guillen appeared in court weeks before but refused to sign a waiver of extradition and opted for a hearing.
He faces multiple felony charges in connection with a Sept. 3 fire that resulted in $42 million worth of damages to the store, shutting it for two months.
The store re-opened its "grocery-side" Saturday morning, spokesman Joe Pennington confirmed to the Eastern New Mexico News.
District Judge Douglas Freitag granted Guillen's extradition to New Mexico after a brief hearing during which attorneys with the Lubbock County District Attorney's Office submitted evidence that Guillen was the person identified in an arrest warrant charging him with arson, aggravated burglary, tampering with evidence and felon in possession of a destructive device.
The case against Guillen stems from a Clovis police investigation that began on Sept. 3 when firefighters from Clovis and surrounding areas responded about 3:35 a.m. to a fire at the Walmart in the 3700 block of North Prince Street. All employees were able to evacuate, and no injuries were reported.
Firefighters arrived to see the store engulfed in flames, the arrest affidavit states.
Clovis police investigators obtained video from the store's security cameras that showed Guillen, who officials described as a transient, enter the business about 2:25 a.m., when it was closed to the public, through a rollup door used for grocery carts on the northeast side of the property, the affidavit states.
As store employees worked stocking shelves, Guillen could reportedly be seen taking propane canisters from the sporting goods area and bringing them to the store's automotive section waiting room where he can be seen hitting them with a hammer before using a propane torch to start a fire.
Investigators believe Guillen taped a box of glass beads, rocks and other sharp objects to one of the cannisters, according to the warrant.
Before obtaining the video, Guillen was considered a person of interest in the fire because police spoke to him the day before regarding a separate fire in an open field just west of the building.
Officers found he had a lighter, road flares and other incendiary devices on him.
However, Guillen refused to speak with investigators without an attorney and he was released for lack of evidence, the affidavit states.
Clovis police officials told the Eastern New Mexico News that Guillen was treated for burns at a Lubbock hospital a few days before his arrest.
This article originally appeared on Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Suspect in Clovis Walmart arson extradited from Lubbock to New Mexico