Donna man faces charges of setting fire to ex’s building

A Hidalgo County grand jury has indicted a 24-year-old Donna man police accuse of burning down an abandoned building in an attempt to murder his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend.

Armando Garza Olivarez is scheduled to be arraigned Monday afternoon on charges of arson and attempted murder of multiple persons. He has been held on $500,000 in bonds since his May 12 arrest.

Donna police responded to a structure fire at 7 a.m. that day in the 100 block of South Main Street after seeing heavy smoke and a building that was engulfed in flames.

A 23-year-old man walking away from the burning building told police that he and his 41-year-old girlfriend were sleeping upstairs when the fire began. He told police Olivarez started the fire, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Meanwhile, another officer found Olivarez at the city park bus stop.

“In the presence of DPD officers stated above, (the man) shouted at (Olivarez), accusing the defendant of starting the fire, telling him, ‘look what you did, you were trying to burn me and my girl,'” the probable cause affidavit stated.

The woman told police that Olivarez showed up to the building at around 4 a.m. wanting to “smoke.”

She refused to go downstairs and Olivarez began insulting her, police say.

Two hours later, at 6 a.m., she woke up to loud crackling noises and heat from under her mattress, according to a probable cause affidavit, which states that she noticed smoke.

“(The woman) later disclosed she was in a prior relationship with (Olivarez),” the charging document stated.

Police say Olivarez admitted to using a lighter to start the fire, saying “the voices told him to kill them,” according to the probable cause affidavit.