Here is an interesting story from The Morgan Messenger, the jury determined the greedy insurance company had a “paid investigator”
After four hours of deliberation, a Morgan County jury found a Hedgesville man not guilty on Monday afternoon, June 1, of arson and trying to defraud an insurance company by setting a fire at his home in April 2006.
The jury of seven women and five men found Robert E. Booth, 52, not guilty of the charges following a five-day trial in the Morgan County Circuit Court, with Judge Gina Groh presiding.
Defense attorney Ken Ford called only three witnesses on Booth’s behalf — Booth, his wife and a neighbor.
Statements by Booth’s wife, Pamela Armstrong Booth, following the fire triggered an investigation both by the Erie Insurance Company and the West Virginia Fire Marshal’s office. Both investigations deemed the fire to be purposefully set.
On April 10, 2006, Pamela Booth gave a sworn statement to representatives of Erie Insurance that her husband had made comments about burning down the couple’s house, which was under contract to be sold.
Testimony from three real estate agents and the Booths also described various ways that Robert Booth tried to obstruct the sale of the couple’s home, including interfering with the scheduling of a home inspection and making angry calls to agents and brokers.
Two of the witnesses for the prosecution testified that Booth said he would burn the house down before he let Pamela Booth sell it.
Ford ended his closing argument by returning to a theme of insurance company greed.
“Mr. Booth is a victim of circumstance. He’s innocent of these charges,” Ford insisted.
“All of the spinning, the dog he loved in the house, the fact that the only investigator that found anything wrong was bought and paid for by the insurance company — when you add that all together, there’s doubt all over the place,” said Ford.
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