Naugle, Wertman Appear For Preliminary Hearings Monday
A McConnellsburg man admitted to setting fire to an occupied trailer and also implicated his child’s grandmother in the blaze that occurred near Knobsville while testifying Monday during Fulton County Central Court.
Roy Scott Wertman of 675 Forbes Trail Road chose to waive his right to a preliminary hearing in appearing before Magisterial District Judge Devin Horne. He is charged with three felony counts of arson and related offenses, burglary; two counts of recklessly endangering another person; and one count of burglary.
Wertman, 32, did, however, openly testify against Cindy S. Naugle during her preliminary hearing also held on May 24. Cindy Naugle of 518 Knobsville Road, McConnellsburg, is currently incarcerated in the Franklin County Prison on one count of arson and related offenses in connection with the 9:45 p.m. blaze on January 17.
Under direct questioning by Fulton County District Attorney Travis Kendall, Wertman told the court he not only knew about the blaze at the 819 Promise Land Road, but that he “started” the fire using gasoline and matches. He added Naugle asked him to burn down the “old trailer” so her daughter, Susan, did not move back in.
Naugle’s defense attorney Anthony McBeth questioned Wertman for some time in hopes of determining how Naugle came to ask the McConnellsburg man to set fire to the trailer. Wertman stated he bumped into Naugle the morning of January 17 in the parking lot of the Dollar General Store in Mc- Connellsburg, and they had a fiveto 10-minute conversation minus the pleasantries and small talk.
Wertman gave varied testimony throughout the court proceedings as to whether Susan was inside the Dollar General when her mother made the odd request, and noted he was unsure what else they may have spoken of during the conversation.
Wertman said it was “none of his concern” why Cindy Naugle did not want her daughter to move back into the trailer located in Todd Township.
He went on to say he parked his motorcycle about a five-minute walking distance from the trailer that evening and carried a onegallon plastic container of gasoline with him. He approached an unlocked, bedroom window and poured the flammable liquid inside the trailer occupied by Raymond Warner and Nicole Keefer. He did not check to see if anyone was inside the room prior to dumping the gasoline.
He indicated he was never offered payment for setting the fire nor was there any tension between himself and Susan or the occupants of the trailer. He added he was not implicating Naugle during the court proceeding in order to save himself.
Deputy fire marshal Trooper M.B. Gordon also testified during Naugle’s preliminary hearing and said he first visited the fire scene on January 18 at the request of officials from the McConnellsburg Volunteer Fire Co. He said the mobile home was severely damaged but still standing, and the blaze appeared to have been contained primarily to one bedroom. Gordon said he observed a pour pattern on the floor, but no accelerant was detected.
Gordon said he was then contacted several months later on March 18 by Sherry Bailey, who said Wertman told her he started the fire. Wertman was interviewed at the barracks and allegedly confessed to committing the crime.
Taking into account the testimony of Gordon and Wertman, Judge Horne found enough evidence to bound over the lone charge against Naugle to the Fulton County Court of Common Pleas for mandatory arraignment. Arraignment dates are not yet available for Naugle or Wertman.