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W.Va. man charged in car arson

October 28, 2002

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A man who allegedly set a car on fire - which then damaged a nearby mobile home and another car - was charged Friday with three felony counts of arson.

Paul Raymond Smith, 55, of Wesley Village in Martinsburg, was arraigned on one count of first-degree arson and two counts of third-degree arson.

Smith is accused of setting a Pontiac Grand Am on fire in the Potts Mobile Home Park on Sept. 3. The fire caused damage to a trailer and a Chevrolet Avalanche parked nearby, said West Virginia State Police Trooper Nathan Harmon.

Smith admitted to police that he set the Grand Am on fire, but said he did not intend to damage the other car or trailer, according to court records.

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Smith is being held in Eastern Regional Jail on $35,000 bail.

Conviction of a charge of first-degree arson carries a prison sentence of two to 20 years. A third-degree arson conviction carries a prison sentence of one to three years.

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