Convicted sex offender arrested in attempted arson at Supreme Court
A 26-year-old registered sex offender accused of arson in a weekend fire at the Nevada Supreme Court building also allegedly threatened violence during a special legislative session scheduled to begin Friday, authorities said.
Christopher Lee Hollis told investigators he was upset about changes in the sex offender tier system that are due to take effect July 1, a spokesman with the
Department of Public Safety said Thursday.
Hollis allegedly said he wanted to blow up the Supreme Court and hurt people in the government.
He also allegedly called Reno radio station 104.5 recently and demanded they record him as he ranted about the goverment, said DPS spokesman Daniel Burns.
He was arrested without incident Wednesday night after being lured by undercover investigators to the Bonanza Casino parking lot in Fallon, Burns said.
During police questioning, Burns said, Hollis also indicated he wanted to stage an event at the special session to “send a message.”
“He has been cooperative in interviews,” Burns said, adding that witnesses also heard Hollis make similar remarks.
He said Hollis also made other threatening statements against symbols of the government and the government’s ideals and policies.
The Sunday night fire started by an “incendiary device” caused minor damage, and police say an anti-government slogan was found scrawled in black spray paint nearby. Burns declined to disclose what the graffiti said.
Legislative complex officers discovered the scene the Monday morning after the fire had extinguished itself.
Burns said surveillance at the complex shows Hollis walking to and from the area, but there were no cameras that caught the actual act.
Hollis, convicted in 2000 on a charge of second-degree sexual assault in Big Spring, Texas, is being held in the Carson City jail on a fourth-degree arson charge.
Authorities said additional charges are likely as the investigation continues.
Bail was set at $25,000, with a special condition that if he is released on bail he must wear a Global Positioning System transmitter so police will know his whereabouts, Burns said.
Hollis had been registerd as living in the Fallon area since Monday, according to Fallon Police.
“This is an investigation that we took very, very serious, because of the timeliness, because of the statements, because of the recording and because of what happened at the court,” said Burns.