Wertman, Naugle Plead Not Guilty
A McConnellsburg man and woman implicated in setting a trailer ablaze outside of Knobsville earlier this year have chosen to waive formal arraignment proceedings.
In appearing before Court of Common Pleas Judge Carol L. Van Horn on Tuesday in the county’s makeshift courtroom at Fulton Theatre, 32-year-old Roy Scott Wertman entered a plea of not guilty to all charges related to the January 17 fire at 819 Promise Land Road. Represented in court by Fulton County Public Defender Tamela Bard, Wertman is cur- rently faced with three felony counts of arson and related offenses, burglary; two counts of recklessly endangering another person; and one count of burglary.
Wertman was informed by Judge Van Horn his next scheduled court appearance has been set for Tuesday, October 12, for call of the list. The judge reiterated in her dialogue with Wertman of 675 Forbes Trail Road, the October 12 deadline would be his final opportunity to enter a plea or select a trial.
Co-defendant Cindy Naugle of 518 Knobsville Road, is currently incarcerated in the Franklin County Prison in lieu of $50,000 bail on one count of arson and related offenses in connection with the 9:45 p.m. blaze. Naugle, 51, opted to waive her arraignment on Tuesday via mail and is also looking at the same October 12 deadline for call of the list and pretrial motions.
Just last month during Naugle’s preliminary hearing presided over by Magisterial District Judge Devin Horne, Wertman admitted to setting the fire to the trailer occupied by Raymond Warner and Nicole Keefer. He also implicated Naugle, who is his child’s grandmother.
At the time, Wertman testified he “started” the fire using gasoline and matches. He stated Naugle asked him to burn down the “old trailer” so Naugle’s daughter, Susan, did not move back in. Wertman added it was “none of his concern” why Naugle did not want her daughter to move back into the trailer located in Todd Township.
Deputy Fire Marshall Trooper M.B. Gordon of the McConnellsburg state police barracks testified he found the mobile home severely damaged but still standing during his investigation. The blaze, according to Gordon, appeared to have been contained primarily to one bedroom. A pour pattern was observed on the floor but no accelerant was detected.
Gordon reported a break in the case occurred when he was contacted several months later by a woman, who alleged Wertman told her he started the fire. Wertman was interviewed at the barracks and reportedly confessed to committing the crime.