By MELINDA WILLIAMS
Additional charges have been filed against two men being held in connection with a September murder in Parrott.
According to court records, Roland Keith Wilson Jr., 41, of Belspring and 22-year-old Matthew Earnest Arnold of Dublin each are charged with conspiracy to commit murder and arson. The charges were obtained through direct indictments from last week’s grand jury.
Wilson and Arnold already were charged with second-degree murder in the Sept. 25 death of Stephen Harrison Bane, 50, of Parrott. Both men are being held without bond at New River Valley Regional Jail.
Judge Ray Grubbs denied Arnold’s petition for bond Monday. His defense attorney indicated Arnold would be willing to follow whatever conditions the judge sets for release, including being placed on home arrest.
Arnold’s mother offered to post her home in Dublin as collateral for bond, saying he would be staying with her and that she will ensure he is present for all court dates in the case. She said Arnold was living with a girlfriend in September, when he was charged in Bane’s death.
Pulaski County Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Fleenor objected to bond being set for Arnold, noting that Arnold is facing a life sentence if convicted in the case. He told Judge Grubbs that Arnold, Wilson and Bane were drinking together on the day the incident occurred. He said Arnold allegedly held Bane down while Wilson allegedly cut Bane with a broken beer bottle.
Fleenor said an autopsy determined Bane died from a combination of strangulation and the cuts.
Judge Grubbs refused to set bond for Arnold, saying he had failed to overcome a presumption against bail in cases involving violence or the potential for a life sentence.
Arnold is scheduled to appear in circuit court for setting of the case March 28 at 9:30 a.m. Wilson’s next court date is April 25 at 9:30 a.m.
Bane’s body was found around 2:30 a.m. Sept. 27 in an abandoned house on Creek Road in the Parrott Community. He was last seen alive Sept. 24.
As for the arson charges, Fleenor said evidence will show that after Bane was dead, the defendants left him in the abandoned house, then went to Bane’s residence in Parrott and burned it down.
Fleenor said the fire department extinguished the fire, which left the structure a total loss. They searched “the ruins for Bane’s body but couldn’t find it, not knowing that he was dead in a nearby abandoned home. His body was eventually found a few days later,” said Fleenor.