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Arrested man suspected of fatal arson in Haltom City

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS -- A man accused of setting a fire that killed a Haltom City apartment resident and who had been on the run from authorities was arrested Friday afternoon after fleeing from police officers in a stolen vehicle and then hiding in a ditch, police said.

Two women were also taken into custody, police said.

Police arrested Johnny Waller shortly after 5 p.m. near Bella Lane and Starnes Road in North Richland Hills after he abandoned the stolen vehicle, police said.

Waller is accused of setting a fire Saturday at a Haltom City apartment complex that killed 20-year-old Geovany Guerra. Police have said that the blaze was set on the second floor and that Guerra lived on the third floor. The two did not know each other, police said.

On Friday afternoon, police tried to stop a vehicle in North Richland Hills, but the driver evaded officers by moving into heavy traffic. Police found the vehicle abandoned a few minutes later.

North Richland Hills officers assisted by Hurst police searched the area and found Waller and the two women hiding in a nearby ditch.

The women were identified as Theresa Withrow, 29, and Angela Jackson, 23. They were in the North Richland Hills Jail being held on traffic warrants.

Waller was in the North Richland Hills Jail on suspicion of arson of habitation involving death. He's also being held on charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, evading, felon in possession of a firearm and traffic warrants out of Hurst.

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