News and Press Releases

Hartselle Man Sentenced For Lumber Company Arson

March 30, 2011

BIRMINGHAM – A federal judge today sentenced a Hartselle man to more than five years in prison for the January 2010 arson at Hartselle Plywood and Lumber Co., announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and ATF Special Agent in Charge Glenn Anderson.

U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler sentenced DAVID ARTHUR GROOVER to 63 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. He ordered Groover to pay $654,219 restitution to the lumber company and its insurance carrier.

Groover, 39, pleaded guilty in December to one count of arson.

“Arson is a dangerous and malicious crime, and this fire could have seriously injured anyone who might have been in the building, or the brave firefighters who fought this fire,” Vance said. “The amount of restitution also reflects the serious economic harm that crimes like this can cause in our communities. This significant prison term and order of restitution should send a strong message that individuals who create these kinds of harm can expect to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Vance said.

A raging fire in the early morning hours of Jan. 16, 2010, 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 prosecutors at today’s sentencing hearing and at the December plea hearing, 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.

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 prosecuted the case.



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