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Press Release

Federal Jury Finds Logan Man Guilty Of Arson

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia

Michael White conspired with couple to set fire to Boone rental duplex for insurance payout

CHARLESTON, W.Va. –A federal jury sitting in Charleston today found a Logan County man guilty in connection with an October 2009 arson that was organized in an effort to collect more than $80,000 in insurance claims, announced U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin.  A federal jury found Michael L. White, 58, of Chapmanville, Logan County guilty on all three counts: conspiracy to commit arson, arson and accessory after the fact.  Evidence at trial determined that White conspired with acquaintance, Kimberly Dawn Kinder, and her now deceased husband to set fire to a residential rental unit owned by White that was located in Van, Boone County, W.Va. 

Kimberly Dawn Kinder, 46, of Chapmanville, Logan County, W.Va., previously pleaded guilty to her role in the conspiracy in June 2012.  White and the Kinders conspired together to set fire to the duplex in order to collect insurance claims. 

Late in the evening on October 15, 2009, the Kinders arrived at the Van Duplex.  After entering through one of the rental units, Mr. Kinder poured gasoline on a pile of clothes in the living area of one of the units.  Mr. Kinder lit the pile of clothes on fire and Mrs. Kinder drove the getaway vehicle.

The Van Volunteer Fire Department later responded to the incident and extinguished the fire, but the property suffered widespread damage.  Afterward, White filed an insurance claim with Nationwide Insurance Company (“Nationwide”) as a result of the fire. Nationwide in turn paid White $80,716.51.  Evidence at trial determined that White subsequently paid the Kinders a total of approximately $2,000 in small increments as payment for their role in the conspiracy. 

White faces up to five years in prison on Count One (conspiracy); five to 20 years on Count Two (arson); and up to two and a half years on Count Three (accessory after the fact) when he is sentenced in August by United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston.

Kinder faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when she is sentenced. 

The investigation was conducted by the West Virginia State Police.  Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Ryan and Larry Ellis handled the prosecution. 

Updated January 7, 2015