Pillow is charged with killing his 65-year-old grandmother on May 4 and setting fire to her home at 708 N. Jefferson St.
Firemen were called to the house after neighbors heard an explosion and saw smoke coming from the home.
Inside the residence firemen found the body of Dorothy Pillow. One of the police officers at the scene confirmed later that the body had definite signs of trauma.
The first count of the indictment listed a charge of murder, a first degree felony. The second count was on a charge of arson, also a first degree felony.
If convicted of either charge, Pillow faces a possible 99-year or life sentence and a $10,000 fine.
Investigating officers were identified in the indictment as Sgt. Rene Guerrero of the Beeville Police Department and Texas Ranger James Bennett.
The indictment alleged that Pillow killed the victim with a knife and then set fire to her home “by causing an explosion or lighting paper or insulation in the attic of the property.”
A detective in the investigation said the fire started in the same location at the back of the house where the victim’s body was found.
Speculation on the part of investigators is that the suspect started the fire to cover up the crime, according to prior information.
District Judge Starr Bauer set bond at $1.5 million.
The suspect has been in the Bee County Jail since his arrest shortly after the incident.
That arrest was made the day after the fire when police saw him near the house and found marijuana on him.
He had become a suspect after BPD investigators learned that he had been the last person seen at the home the afternoon of the fire.
Detectives also said previously that Pillow reportedly worked odd jobs in the community and had lived with his grandmother at times.
Dorothy was raised in Karnes City. It wasn’t until recently that she moved to Beeville — a central location that allowed her to be close to her children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.