Insufficient Evidence: Arson charge dropped against suspect - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Insufficient Evidence: Arson charge dropped against suspect in Hinton fire

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A man accused of setting fire to a home and an apartment complex in Hinton is now facing one less charge. 

Billy Joe Gill was facing two arson charges and two attempted murder charges for allegedly setting fire to a home on the 100 block of Fifth Avenue in Hinton and the "Brick Row" apartments along the 800 block of Temple Street.  That was back on Feb. 26.

However, on Friday, May 17, Gill was back in a Summers County Courtroom.  His attorney filed a motion to dismiss the charge of arson for the "Brick Row" fire.  The Summers County Prosecuting Attorney's office tells 59News that the motion was filed because the West Virginia Fire Marshal's office was not able to determine what caused the fire.  That was grounds to dismiss for insufficient evidence. 

In arson cases the state must prove that the fire was set intentionally.  Prosecutors said that without a cause of the fire, they cannot make a case.  The charge was dropped without prejudice.  Prosecutors said that means they can charge Gill with the crime later if more evidence is turned up in the investigation, which is still open.

Gill is still facing an arson charge and two attempted murder charges for a fire set at the home in the 100 Block of Fifth Avenue.  He will have a status hearing on those charges on Monday, June 10.