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Men charged in setting fires

March 10, 2009

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Two men were in Eastern Regional Jail Tuesday evening on felony counts of setting fire to land after an incident Monday along the Winchester & Western railroad line near Mall Drive in Martinsburg, according to court and jail records.

Ronald Anthony Gregory, 44, of Martinsburg, and Barry Duane Dutton, 28, no fixed address, were arraigned Monday evening by Magistrate Joan V. Bragg, who set a $10,000 bond for both, according to court records.

The men were discovered by an employee of Martinsburg Concrete Products Co. at 300 Mall Drive, who told police he saw smoke coming from the railroad track area and discovered the defendants "stomping on it" when he went to see what was happening, according to a complaint by Martinsburg Police Department Patrolman E.L. Chrisman.

When the employee asked them about the fire, one of the men looked at the other and said he told him not set the fire and then walked away, according to Chrisman's complaint.

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Chrisman said one of the defendants told him they set the fire "just to be stupid," according to the officer's complaint.

Chrisman said in his complaint that the men appeared to have been drinking alcohol and were staggering along the railroad tracks when he arrived to investigate.

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