By Ron Gregory
CHARLESTON – A federal district judge has permitted three defendants in a Logan County arson/fraud case to withdraw previous guilty pleas while admitting to other charges.
Southern District Judge Thomas E. Johnston allowed Jamey Thompson, Guy Miller and former Logan City Councilman Greg Glick to withdraw their previous pleas Wednesday in Charleston. The charges involve the burning of a building at 111 Stratton Street in Logan. According to the federal indictment, the scheme included collecting on a $1 million insurance policy.
The three were allowed to withdraw their guilty pleas to arson and, in return, admit to a conspiracy to commit arson by Judge Johnston. Their guilty pleas to fraud were not addressed at Wednesday’s hearing.
Attorneys for the three apparently were concerned that the original guilty pleas included the possibility of increased prison time when Johnston sentences them. Since a Logan fireman claimed to have suffered a knee injury while on the scene at the fire, the arson charge would have included a possible extension of sentencing from five to seven years minimum and from 20 to 40 years maximum.
The new pleas will set possible sentencing at the lower levels, five to 20 years.
The three men are now scheduled to be sentenced May 21. A fourth man, Shawn Simon, charged in the scheme, asked to have a new attorney in March. His sentencing is set for May 13. There was no indication Wednesday that he intended to change his pleas.
All four of the men have been behind bars since September 2013 on the charges since bond was denied by Johnston.
A fifth man accused in the crime, Michael D. Williams, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and was released on bond. His bond was revoked April 1 when officials said he tested positive for marijuana use. His sentencing was scheduled for Thursday.