West Virginia Firefighter to Plead in Arson Case

September 1, 2010

A Nov. 8 plea hearing is set for a former volunteer firefighter accused of setting a blaze in Berkeley County, W. Va., that injured a firefighter from another department.

Berkeley County Prosecutor Pamela Games-Neely told a judge on Monday that 31-year-old James L. Blackford III agreed to enter an Alford plea to first-degree arson and causing serious injury during an arson-related crime.

In an Alford plea, a defendant doesn’t admit guilt but acknowledges that the prosecution has enough evidence to convict.

Blackford was a three-year member of the Bedington Volunteer Fire Department when he was charged with setting fire to a barn in 2009.

A member of the Baker Heights Volunteer Fire Department was injured in the blaze.

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