2010-04-08 / Front Page

Two Jailed In Todd Township Arson Case

January trailer fire solved
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

Two McConnellsburg area residents were charged this week in connection with an intentional blaze that severely damaged a mobile home earlier this year.

Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal Trooper M.B. Gordon filed charges Monday against Roy Scott Wertman, 675 Forbes Trail Road, and Cindy S. Naugle, 518 Knobsville Road.

A criminal complaint filed through Magisterial District Judge Wendy Mellott by Gordon indicates Wertman currently faces three counts of arson and related offenses; burglary; two counts of recklessly endangering another person; and one count of burglary. The arson related charges vary in degree from a felony one to a felony three.

In addition, Naugle has been cited with one count of arson and related offenses, a felony one charge.

In an affidavit of probable cause, Gordon said he was contacted to investigate a trailer fire in Todd Township at 819 Promise Land Road. Gordon stated the mobile home sustained severe damage on January 17 during a blaze that erupted at 9:45 p.m.

His investigation revealed an accelerant was poured on the floor and furniture of a bedroom located on the eastern side of the trailer. Access to the trailer, Gordon noted, was gained through an exterior window.

The home’s occupants, Raymond Warner and Nicole Keefer, were sleeping in an adjacent bedroom when the fire was started. The duo managed to escape and contacted emergency responders for assistance. In speaking with Warner and Keefer following the fire, the fire marshal further learned that other “unsolved” incidents had occurred since they had initially moved into the trailer.

Gordon indicated in filing documents that he received a tip at the McConnellsburg state police barracks in mid-March that Wertman, 32, disclosed in a private conversation he allegedly started the fire. During the discussion, Wertman reportedly told a woman he had also followed up by responding to the fire call with the Hustontown Volunteer Fire Co.

According to the affidavit, Gordon, in turn, interviewed Wertman, who allegedly admitted to setting the fire at the request of the previous owner of the property, 51-yearold Cindy Naugle.

“He (Wertman) related that he met with Cindy Naugle at the Dollar General Store in McConnellsburg on January 17 and had a conversation with her about the mobile home. Naugle asked him to burn it down in order to keep her daughter from moving back into the trailer,” said Gordon in the affidavit.

Wertman also told the fire marshal he drove to the scene the night of the fire on his motorcycle and carried with him a plastic container of gasoline. He used two matches to ignite the interior of the room before fleeing.

Wertman was arraigned before District Judge Mellott on Monday, April 5, and remanded to the Franklin County Prison in lieu of $50,000 bail. His preliminary hearing has been tentatively scheduled for April 12 in Fulton County Central Court.

A preliminary hearing has not yet been set for Naugle, who has remained incarcerated in the Franklin County Prison since mid- February on unrelated charges of terroristic threats.

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