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UPDATE: Former State Trooper Pleads Not Guilty to Arson

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 8/26/13 @ 5 p.m.
CABELL COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A former West Virginia State Police trooper accused of arson told a judge he was not guilty.

Stephen Gula also had no comment Monday as he walked into the courtroom.

Gula was a probationary state trooper when he resigned from the force before the alleged crime happened on March 15, 2013.

Gula and two co-defendants are accused of setting fire to the home along Cyrus Creek Road in Barboursville early that March morning.

According to the criminal complaint, there were two insurance policies on the home for the co-defendants.

Donovan Smith, who is also accused in the crime, also pleaded not guilty during his arraignment.

The other defendant, Kenneth Holden, is in jail and did not appear in court Monday. He will be arraigned at a later date.

Gula was released on his own recognizance. He now lives in a town outside of Pittsburgh, Pa.



UPDATE 8/23/13 @ 2 pm
CABELL COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) – A former W.Va. State Trooper, charged with getting two men to burn down his mobile home, will be arraigned Monday, along with the other men involved in the alleged scheme.

A recent Cabell County Grand Jury indicted Stephen Spencer Gula on one count of 1st degree arson, and two counts of burning insured property.

Gula was employed by the West Virginia State Police from November 14, 2011 until he resigned on March 4, 2013.

Prosecutors say the alleged arson happened on March 15 at Gula’s mobile home in the 3400 block of Cyrus Creek Road in Barboursville. The fire was reported about 2:30 a.m.

According to the indictment, Gula solicited Kenneth Luke Holden II, 24 of South Point and Donovan Shane Smith, 20, of Wayne County, to set fire to the home, and that Holden and Smith are the ones who actually set the fire.

Holden and Smith are charged 1st degree arson, two counts of burning insured property and burglary in the indictment.

Smith and Holden were both arrested in May.

Smith was originally charged with burning insured property and conspiracy to burn insured property. Holden with two counts burning insured property.

Holden was already in jail on unrelated charges when he was arrested.

The trio is set to be arraigned Monday afternoon

Gula graduated the West Virginia State Police Academy as a Trooper on May 4, 2012. At the time of his resignation, he was still on probationary status and under the supervision of a field training officer. The agency gave no reason for his resignation.

“The indictment against Stephen Gula is disheartening, especially since he is a former member of the West Virginia State Police. I continue to have faith in our justice system. Should the allegations contained in the indictment prove to be true, such behavior is inconsistent with the core values of the West Virginia State Police and the nearly 3400 men and women who have proudly served the citizens of West Virginia since 1919.” said Colonel C. R. “Jay” Smithers.

This investigation was a joint effort by the West Virginia State Police and the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 5/23/13 @ 4:30 p.m.
CABELL COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- An arrest has been made in an arson case in Cabell County.

Donovan Smith, 20, of South Point, Ohio, was arrested Thursday afternoon.

The West Virginia State Fire Marshal's Office tells WSAZ.com Smith set fire to a mobile home in the 3400-block of Cyrus Creek Road back in March.

Smith is charged with felony arson, two counts of burning insured property, four counts of conspiracy to commit arson, nighttime burglary and burning of grasslands.

Smith was given a $225,000 cash-only bond.

More arrests are expected to be made in the case.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY 3/15/13
CABELL COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- No one was home when a fire spread through a mobile home in Cabell County early Friday morning.

Fire crews were called to the trailer in the 3400-block of Cyrus Creek Road about 2:30 a.m.

Firefighters say there a small amount of ammunition in the trailer that went off during the fire. No one was hurt.

Crews were called back to the trailer about 7 a.m. when the fire rekindled.

WSAZ.com is told that a man lived in the mobile home.

There is no word right now on how the fire started.


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