A Texas man is accused of setting his El Paso home on fire, resulting in the death of his brother and leaving his mother with severe burn injuries, according to reports.
Phillip Daniel Mills, 40, was arrested on Friday, charged with capital murder and arson, according to KFOX 14 of El Paso.
Mills allegedly confessed to setting the fire while being questioned by authorities, KVIA-TV of El Paso reported. He reportedly told investigators he broke a TV in the home and later set a couch on fire to rid the home of “evil.”
Mills was allegedly angry that his family didn’t follow the Bible, KTSM-TV of El Paso reported.
Mills’ brother Paul Aaron Mills, 54, was pulled from the home and later pronounced dead at a hospital. His mother, Florence Annette Mills, 82, was able to walk out of the home and remained hospitalized, being treated for burns and smoke inhalation.
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“Phillip Daniel Mills set fire to the inside of his home and fled, leaving his mother and brother inside the burning residence,” El Paso police said in a statement, according to KVIA.
“The defendant states that he left the residence and allowed his mother to be in a ‘happy place’ throughout the day and waited for both his mother and brother to go to bed, before starting the fire,” police said, according to KTSM.
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“We came out running and the house was just engulfed in flames,” a neighbor who lives accords the street told KFOX of the Thursday night fire. “There was no way that we could run in there to do anything.”
Mills allegedly laughed when officers told him his mother survived the fire and called it a “‘failed attempt,” KTSM reported.
The neighbor told KFOX Mills was a bit of a “drifter.”
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“He would leave and come back, then leave, and come back stay a couple of months,” he said.
Mills was booked into jail on a $2.5 million bond, according to KVIA.
He has an extensive arrest record, KTSM reported.