Recaptured Fugitive, Others Accused in Arson-for-insurance Scheme
Written by Your 5News Team
Last updated on July 28, 2014 @ 11:20PM
Created on July 28, 2014 @ 12:50PM
West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office Press Release
Charleston, W.Va._ Four West Virginia residents are accused of first-degree arson, burning insured property and conspiracy. The criminal warrants stem from a fire that destroyed the residence of George and Rebecca Bonnell on Dec. 1, 2011 in the Laurel Valley area of Harrison County.
The Bonnells and Samuel “Joey” Oldaker were arrested on Friday, July 25, 2014 and posted bond that day. The fourth defendant, Chad E. Cook, was a work-release inmate at the Beckley Correctional Center (BCC) when investigators with the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office interviewed him on May 22, 2014 about the fire. He absconded from BCC the following day. Cook was recaptured July 20 in Roanoke, Va., where he remains in jail. Cook is expected to be charged once he is returned West Virginia. His extradition is pending.
The charges allege the Bonnells hired Cook to burn their home so they could collect more than $171,000 in insurance.
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