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UPDATE: Couple Sentenced to 8 Years in Prison Each for Involvement in West Milford Arson Conspiracy

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UPDATE (4/7/15 at 5:30 p.m.)

George Bonnell, 54, of Weston, was also sentenced to 8 years in prison for his involvement in setting fire to a home in West Milford as part of a conspiracy to collect a six-figure insurance payout.


UPDATE (4/3/15 at 2 p.m.)

Rebecca Bonnell, 40, of Weston, was sentenced to 8 years in prison for her involvement in setting fire to a home in West Milford as part of a conspiracy to collect a six-figure insurance payout.

Chad Edward Cook, 40, of Beckley, was also sentenced to 10 years in prison for first-degree arson, 1 to 5 years for conspiracy to commit burning of insured property, which will be served consecutively. Time Cook has already served will be considered, as well. 

Cook is currently in the Huttonsville Correctional Center, not eligible for parole until next year, on credit card forgery and access device fraud convictions from Harrison County and access device fraud and false pretenses convictions from Upshur County. 

Rebecca's husband, George Bonnell, 54, of Weston, is awaiting sentencing for his role in the conspiracy.


ORIGINAL:

Four people have been charged with first degree arson, burning insured property, and conspiracy in connection to a December 1, 2011 fire in the Laurel Valley area of Harrison County.

The warrants stem from a fire that destroyed the home of George and Rebecca Bonnell, according to a news release from the State Fire Marshal's Office. The Bonnell's and Samuel "Joey" Oldaker were arrested on Friday, July 25, 2014 and posted bond.  Chad E. Cook, also charged in the case, was a work release inmate at the Beckley Correctional Center.  He was interviewed by investigators from the State Fire Marshal's Office on May 22 about the fire and fled from the correctional center the following day, according to a news release from the State Fire Marshal's Office.

Cook was captured in Roanoke, Virginia  on July 20, where he is being held until is extradition to West Virginia.

Investigators allege that the Bonnell's hired Cook to burn their home so they could collect more than $171,000 in insurance money.  Initial 911 calls indicated that someone was trapped inside during the fire, but officials said that no one was home.  Officials said the home was purchased in March but was for sale at the time of the fire.

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