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Waynesboro men accused of arson waive preliminary hearings

July 16, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- Two Waynesboro, Pa., men charged with setting fires to a house, a barn and several portable toilets between September 2007 and April waived their preliminary hearings Tuesday in Franklin County Central Court.

Matthew Zachary Shifflett, 21, of 12222 Polktown Road, and Scott David Shelly, 19, of 115 Tritle Ave., are charged with several counts of arson, criminal conspiracy, recklessly endangering another person, risking or causing a catastrophe and criminal mischief, according to Pennsylvania State Police. They were scheduled for mandatory arraignment Aug. 26, according to court records.

Trooper Jeffrey Sarver, a state police fire marshal, investigated a Sept. 10, 2007, fire at 7012 Rock Hill Road in Quincy Township. The cause of the fire was not immediately determined, but Sarver wrote in the affidavit of probable cause that he ruled it arson because there were no electrical lines to the barn.

On the morning of April 3, police investigated a fire set to a portable toilet at the Five Forks Brethren In Christ Church, 9244 Five Forks Road, Waynesboro. That was followed by a fire set at a house at 511 Cleveland Ave. in Waynesboro, which police also ruled was intentional.

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Another portable toilet was set on fire on the morning of April 7 at Spanish Moss Court in Greene Township, police said. The next day, a portable toilet was set on fire on Summer Breeze Lane in Greene Township.

Later on April 8, a junior firefighter in Chambersburg told Sarver he had information about the fires, which led to Shifflett and Shelly being questioned several days later.

Police said Shelly drove Shifflett to the fire scenes, where Shifflett usually set the fires. In the case of the barn fire, Shelly poured gasoline in the barn and Shifflett lit the fire, police said.

The affidavit of probable cause stated that after setting the barn fire, the two watched from a distance as firefighters battled the blaze, then talked with them afterward.

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