EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSFormer Trooper Charged With Arson Pleads Not Guilty
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Dave Benton
Videographer: Kenney Barnette
Web Producer: Dave Benton
Reported: Aug. 26, 2013 6:14 PM EDT
Updated: Aug. 27, 2013 9:28 AM EDT
Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia
A former WV State Trooper accused of having his home set on fire appeared in court Monday afternoon. Steven Gula wouldn't talk on camera but did plead not guilty in Cabell County Circuit Court. A grand jury charged Gula with first degree arson and burning insured property.
Cecil Bates owns the trailer Gula is accused of burning down. He recently got the burned trailer off his property and moved in a new trailer. He says he never thought twice about renting to a man of the law. "When he first moved in I thought boy I got it made now. I got State Police here in the yard and to watch all the property and everything. But, it didn't work out that way."
The indictment states Gula counseled Donovan Shane Smith and Kenneth Holden to burn his home on Cyrus Creek Road in Barboursville back in March. Smith recently gave a statement to Eyewitness News which read, "I was drug into the middle of this, I did nothing that I'm being accused of. I would never do anything so malicious, destructive or something so terrible like what I'm being accused of. I am innocent and my innocence will be shown in the end."
Steven Gula was a state trooper for two years and resigned shortly before his trailer burned. His trial is scheduled for later next month. As for Kenneth Holden, the other man charged with arson, he is currently in jail out of state and will be arraigned later this week.
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