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Fire is ruled arson

February 10, 2005|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

A January fire at the 7th Degree Barber Shop that broke out within hours of a domestic call involving the businesses owner has been determined to be arson, according to the Hagerstown Fire Marshal's Office.

Fire marshals said the Jan. 15 fire at 149 W. Franklin St. was deliberately set in the basement area of a barber shop owned by Cleaven L. Williams Jr.

The lead investigator on the case, Assistant Fire Marshal Richard L. Miller, and Hagerstown Fire Marshal Tom Brown could not be reached for comment on the investigation Wednesday. The Hagerstown Police Department said Wednesday it was not involved in the investigation.

Police alleged that a few hours before the fire, Williams, 29, of 915 W. Washington St., "pistol-whipped," strangled and fired a handgun between the feet of his wife, Veronica Williams.

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Police said Williams' three children - ages 1, 3 and 4 - were in the home at the time.

Williams was charged with first- and second-degree assault, use of a handgun in the commission of a felony, false imprisonment, carrying a deadly weapon with intent to injure and two counts of reckless endangerment, the Hagerstown Police Department has said.

He turned himself in to police on the evening of Jan. 15.

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