Augusta man pleads not guilty in arson case

An Augusta man accused of igniting a woman’s home and trying to set her and several sheriff’s deputies on fire pleaded not guilty Friday.

John Eugene Williams, 63, was arraigned in Rich­mond County Superior Court on four counts of aggravated assault, two counts of obstruction of an officer, first-degree arson and burglary.

According to the indictment, Williams is accused of breaking into and setting fire to Kim Wright’s home at 4312 Sanderling Drive on Oct. 6. He faces aggravated assault charges over accusations that he threw gasoline on Wright, Chastity Wright and Richmond County sheriff’s deputies Bryan Mealing and Ryan Digiacomo. The obstruction charges accuse Williams of trying to douse deputies Zachary Chalker and Doug­las Kirkland with gasoline.

Williams is being held in jail without bond.