EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSState Police Issue Statement Regarding Former Trooper's Arson Charge
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Tiersa Davis
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Aug. 23, 2013 12:46 PM EDT
Updated: Aug. 23, 2013 4:17 PM EDT
Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia
West Virginia State Police have issued a statement after a former trooper was indicted on arson charges.
"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," Col. C. R. "Jay" Smithers said. "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 3,400 men and woman who have proudly served the citizens of West Virginia since 1919."
A grand jury charged Stephen S. Gula with first-degree arson and burning insured property. Gula was a former West Virginia state trooper from November 2011 to March 2013, when he resigned, State Police said.
A former trooper and two other men were indicted on charges of arson after the trooper's home in Cabell County caught fire.
A grand jury charged Stephen S. Gula with first-degree arson and burning insured property, according to the indictment filed in late July. Gula was a former West Virginia state trooper from November 2011 to March 2013, when he resigned, State Police said. He was still on probationary status of a field training officer when he resigned.
Donovan S. Smith and Kenneth L. Holden, II were arrested in May in connection to the fire. Smith and Holden were charged with first-degree arson, burning insured property and burglary.
The indictment states that Gula "counseled" the two men to burn his mobile home on Cyrus Creek Road in Barboursville in March. Gula was no longer a trooper at the time of the alleged crime.
Gula is expected to be arraigned on the charges on Monday.
Police have arrested a second suspect in connection with an arson investigation in Cabell County.
Fire marshals said police arrested Kenneth Holden on Friday.
Police had made a prior arrest in the case. Donovan Shane Smith of South Point was charged Thursday in connection with the fire on Cyrus Creek Road in Barboursville last week.
An Ohio man has been arrested in connection to an arson investigation in Cabell County.
Police said Donovan Shane Smith of South Point had something to do with a mobile home getting set on fire on Cyrus Creek Road in Barboursville last week.
Smith is facing nine felony charges, including first degree arson. The state fire marshal's office expects to make more arrests in the case.
Smith is being held on a $225,000 cash-only bond.
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