HARTSELLE MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO LUMBER COMPANY ARSON
BIRMINGHAM – A Hartselle man pleaded guilty today in federal court to arson in connection with a January fire at Hartselle Plywood and Lumber Co., announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and ATF Special Agent in Charge Glenn Anderson.
DAVID ARTHUR GROOVER, 39, entered his plea before U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler to one count of arson charged in a September indictment. A sentencing date has not been set.
A raging fire in the early morning hours of Jan. 16 extensively damaged Hartselle Plywood and Lumber Co. Flammable lacquers and thinners used by the business in manufacturing cabinets for mobile homes intensified the flames. According to statements made by the government in today’s hearing, the business suffered about $500,000 in damage.
Prosecutors also stated in court that had GROOVER gone to trial, the government would have proven that GROOVER broke into the business, stole computer equipment and a cell phone, then poured lacquer and thinner onto the floor and set the building aflame.
The arson charge carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years and a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
This case was investigated by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Hartselle Police Department and the Alabama Fire Marshal.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell E. Penfield is prosecuting the case.
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