Arson suspect enters not guilty plea
A man accused of setting an apartment blaze that heavily damaged six units and left two people hurt has pleaded innocent to federal arson charges.
David Hartsell, 50, of Conway appeared Tuesday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jerome Kearney in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.
Last Thursday, a federal grand jury indicted Hartsell, a former resident of Germantown Apartments at 955 S. German Lane in Conway, on charges of maliciously damaging the complex and possessing three destructive devices in furtherance of arson.
Hartsell also faces state charges of arson and first-degree battery in the fire that also killed a dog, records show.
Hartsell filed a request Monday in Faulkner County Circuit Court to dismiss those charges, arguing that his constitutional rights were violated and that a search warrant of his apartment was outdated at the time it was issued.
He wrote that the warrant was issued Dec. 11, 2015, though the fire was on Feb. 27, 2017. Records show the warrant was executed Feb. 28 and reported March 3.