Alleged Pennsylvania Arsonist Held until Trial

March 2, 2009

A teenager accused of setting a fire in an arson-plagued community in southeastern Pennsylvania will remain in federal custody until his trial.

A federal judge ruled Friday there is enough evidence for the case against 19-year-old Mark Gilliam to continue.

Gilliam, of West Chester, is accused of setting a fire at the Happy Days Family Bistro in Thorndale in January.

That fire occurred shortly after one of Gilliam’s friends, Roger Barlow, allegedly set a fire that leveled 15 homes in Coatesville.

Coatesville and the surrounding area has been devastated by more than sixty arsons in the last year, including one fatal fire.

Authorities are investigating any connection between the two men and the other fires.

Barlow is facing nine counts of arson. He remains in custody.

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