A Hixson man admits to setting his house on fire, then overdosing on medication - all because of personal problems at home.
Walter Marks’ arson arrest stems from the fire he reportedly set back on June 17th.
Marks was arrested Monday. According to the affidavit, he was depressed and was having marriage issues. He told fire investigators that he set the fire, trying to take his own life.
Peggy Norman never saw this coming because she says, her neighbor, Walter Marks, appeared to be a family man.
"He has grandkids that he loved, I know that for a fact," said Norman.
Marks was living with a female psychic reader. Investigators say they were not married, but they referred to their relationship as a common-law marriage.
According to court records, Marks told investigators that he tried to commit suicide by setting the curtains on fire in the bedroom and the living room. In addition to being depressed, he told fire investigators he is bipolar.
"I'm relieved that he's at least alive, but sad that he tried to take his own life, but hopefully now he'll get the help that he does need," said Norman.
When firefighters got to his Hixson home, they found Marks in his truck unconscious. He was taken to the hospital, and later confessed to setting starting the fire, then taking a handful of pills and going to his truck.
Neighbors say they wish they would have known about Mark's suicidal thoughts sooner.
"I would have told him that if he needed anybody to talk to, sometimes an impartial ear is the best," said Emily Blount.
The psychic reader - whose name has not yet been released - was not home when the fire happened, and she has not been charged.
"It makes me kind of feel a little bad because I've been here two years and I've never talked to my neighbors, but such is life I guess," said Blount.
This isn't Walter Marks' first run-in with the law. Tuesday, we learned he has a rap sheet three pages long, and charges dating back to 1999.
As for the arson case, Marks is due in court on July 15th. Depend on us to let you know what happens.
By Jerry Askin
A Hixson man is behind bars after investigators say he set fire to his own home.
Chattanooga police have charged 54-year-old Walter Marks with arson.
On June 17 police and firefighters were called to a house fire and found Marks sitting inside a pickup truck in the driveway. He was unresponsive and immediately rushed to the hospital.
There they say he confessed to setting the home on fire and trying to commit suicide in the process.
The home also serves as a psychic reading business.