Arson suspect 'well known' in downtown Charleston

Arson suspect 'well known' in downtown Charleston
Kenneth Boone, compared to a sketch released by police.
Kenneth Boone, compared to a sketch released by police.

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Before Kenneth Boone was labeled a suspect in two arsons in Hollywood, SC and one in downtown Charleston, he was just another working neighbor to those on Montagu Street.

"Kenny" as he's known up and down Montagu worked in construction and was seen as a local handyman.

Working the night shift at a J & W grocery on the corner of Montagu and Pitt, an employee named Cat says Kenny was one of many people who came in for coffee in the morning and hotdog's in the afternoon.

Cat says if Boone was working a job in the area he was almost certainly due into the store at some point during the day.

"Everybody knows him," said Cat. "Everybody recognizes him around the neighborhood."

When the news came out about a suspected arsonist being arrested and Kenny's name and picture following the lead, the store employee did a double take.

"He was always friendly to me," said Cat. "He didn't do anything nasty and he always said thank you. He was a nice guy."

Cat says Boone never set off any red flags but says word of his arrest is "affecting a lot of people in the area."

The store employee says it's the talk of the block. She says people were initially shocked, now they're more at ease knowing someone is behind bars, suspected in setting one fire in downtown Charleston at 48 Montagu Street.

Another person, who did not want to reveal his name, said he's known Boone since he was young. The man said over the years Boone has held more than a handful of odd jobs. He said he knew Boone to work as everything from a repair man to a bail bondsman, even trying his luck as a limousine driver through the streets of downtown Charleston.

The man said what surprised him the most is learning about Boone's six page rap sheet that dates by to 1984. A background check completed with the help of the State Law Enforcement Agency reveals crimes such as grand larceny, possession of marijuana, aggravated assault and domestic violence.

Before the arson charges were announced Monday, Boone was last arrested in 2011.

For the second time in three days, Boone faced a bond court judge Tuesday.

He is currently being held at the Al Cannon Detention Center on a $300,000 bond for three arsons and a conspiracy charge.

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