UPDATE: Bond set for suspect in shelter fire

HATTIESBURG — A 24-year-old Petal man charged with setting the fire that destroyed the office of Southern Pines Animal Shelter has made his first appearance in court.

Ricky Pierce was charged with commercial burglary and arson Dec. 23. He appeared before Judge George Schmidt on Monday and his bond was set at $50,000 for the commercial burglary charge and $100,000 for the arson charge.

The judge informed Pierce that a condition of his bail was he cannot have any contact at all with anyone from the animal shelter. If he makes contact, Schmidt said Pierce’s bond will be revoked.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Pierce has an attorney.

The president of the board of directors for Southern Pines Animal Shelter told the Hattiesburg American that Pierce had worked for the shelter for about six months.

The Associated Press