Friday, April 18, 2003

Teenager indicted in arson at hotel being built in Milford



By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

BATAVIA - An 18-year-old Union Township man accused of setting fire to a hotel under construction in Milford could face more than 40 years in jail after being indicted on 10 felony charges.

A Clermont County grand jury has indicted Cody C. Moore on four counts of aggravated arson, four counts of breaking and entering, and one count each of arson and grand theft of a motor vehicle.

If convicted as charged, Moore could be sent to prison for more than 40 years, said Assistant Clermont County Prosecutor Tony Brock on Thursday.

A fire that caused an estimated $2 million in damage to the Hawthorne Suites Hotel on Chamber was reported about 4:30 a.m. April 13. While helping to extinguish the blaze, firefighter Bill McNamara noticed Moore watching from nearby Round Bottom Road.

Moore allegedly had a gas can in the bed of his pickup truck, officials said.

Police said Moore made a statement that implicated himself in the fire, as well as in a smaller fire at the same site March 23.

A 16-year-old Loveland area teen has been charged with complicity to arson in connection with the March 23 fire, Brock said. That teen is not being named because he is a juvenile.

Moore also has been indicted on charges related to earlier criminal acts, including the theft of a pickup truck from a business in Milford. The truck, officials said, was later set on fire.

Moore also is accused of several residential break-ins in Milford, Union Township, Clermont County, and in Hamilton County.

Moore is being held in the Clermont County Jail in lieu of $400,000 bond. He could appear for an arraignment today.

E-mail mmccain@enquirer.com




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