MCDOWELL COUNTY, WV (LOOTPRESS) – On March 4, 2021, in the Roderfield area of McDowell County, deputies responded to the scene of a reported arson in progress.
Deputies arrived on the scene and began to conduct an investigation, finding that a single-wide trailer belonging to Molly and Charlie Carter was on fire and that a suspect had fled the scene.
Deputies, after further investigation with the assistance of members of the community and the West Virginia State Fire Marshall’s Office, concluded their investigation.
Harry Lee Steele Jr. was later arrested by deputies of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office and charged with arson in the first degree.
Beginning October 10th. Through October 12th, 2023, a trial was held in the Circuit Court of McDowell County before the Honorable Judge Rudolph J. Murensky II.
The trial concluded in the evening hours of October 12, 2023, and ultimately, Harry Lee Steele Jr. was found guilty of arson in the first degree by a jury of his peers. The court later holds post-trial motions.
The Court set sentencing for this case on January 5th, 2024 at 2:15 in the evening to which Mr. Steele was out on bond and failed to appear for that sentencing.
However, deputies with the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office on January 6th. 2024 apprehended Mr. Steele and sentencing was then carried out on January 10th, 2024 at 11:00 am. The sentencing took place before Honorable Judge Rudolph J. Murensky II., and Mr. Steele was sentenced to 20 years in the penitentiary.
The McDowell County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank members of the community, the West Virginia State Fire Marshall’s Office, and the McDowell County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for their assistance in this case. The conviction in this case would not have been possible without each of you. Deputies with the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office look forward to making McDowell County a safer place to live.