Man faces ar­son charge

Sunday Star - - LOCAL - By AN­GELA PRICE bay­times@kibay­times.com

GRASONVILLE — A 27-year-old Grasonville man has been charged with set­ting fire to a neigh­bor’s house.

Grasonville Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment re­sponded to a fire at a one-story, sin­gle­fam­ily res­i­dence at 102 Jewel Court at 3:45 p.m. Sun­day, Sept. 17. The fire was out when fire­fight­ers ar­rived.

Another neigh­bor who hap­pened to be driv­ing by saw the smoke and alerted home owner Pa­tri­cia Dot­son, 76, and her grand­daugh­ter, who were nap­ping in­side the home, ac­cord­ing to the Mary­land State Fire Mar­shal’s Of­fice. They were able to exit the res­i­dence safely. No in­juries were re­ported.

The neigh­bor called 911 and alerted the fire depart­ment, then went on to ex­tin­guish the fire, the fire mar­shal’s of­fice re­ported.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors said fires were set in­ten­tion­ally in mul­ti­ple lo­ca­tions on the ex­te­rior of the home. The home’s smoke alarm was present but did not ac­ti­vate due to the fire lo­ca­tion on the out­side of the house; the small ex­te­rior fires caused an es­ti­mated $3,000 in dam­ages, the fire mar­shal’s of­fice re­ported.

Deputy state fire mar­shals from the Up­per Eastern Re­gional Of­fice said their investigation lead them to Sean Ni­cholas Mur­phy of 632 Caspian Drive. In­ves­ti­ga­tors al­lege Mur­phy poured gaso­line and set mul­ti­ple fires on the ex­te­rior of the house.

They ob­tained a search and seizure war­rant for Mur­phy’s res­i­dence, and a Mary­land State Po­lice trooper tooks Mur­phy from his house to the Cen­tre­ville MSP bar­racks for ques­tion­ing. Mur­phy was ar­rested Mon­day night, Sept. 18, at his home.

He was charged with first-de­gree ar­son, two counts of reck­less en­dan­ger­ment, first-de­gree ma­li­cious burn­ing and ma­li­cious de­struc­tion of prop­erty over $1,000.

Mur­phy is be­ing held at the Queen Anne’s County De­ten­tion Cen­ter on no bond.

If con­victed of all charges, Mur­phy faces a max­i­mum penalty of 48 years in prison and/ or $67,500 in fines, ac­cord­ing to the fire mar­shal’s of­fice.

FIRE MAR­SHAL PHOTO

In­ves­ti­ga­tors with the Mary­land State Fire Mar­shal’s Of­fice say gaso­line was poured and mul­ti­ple fires started on the ex­te­rior of this home on Jewel Court in Grasonville.

SEAN NI­CHOLAS MUR­PHY

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