CRIME

Virginia man charged in connection with Worleytown house fire

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

David Franklin Minnich, 51, Berryville, Va. was charged with insurance fraud following a house fire at 13462 Worleytown Road. Pennsylvania State Police investigated the cause of the fire, which was called in at 11:18 p.m. Nov. 23, 2009 by a motorist.  Minnich told the trooper that on that day he visited the house at 9 a.m. because the renter had moved out. He put up No Trespassing signs and went back to Berryville. He told police he returned to the house at 5 p.m., then went back to Berryville, then came back to the house at 10:10 p.m. Since there was no activity he said he drove back to Berryville, arriving between 11 and 11:30 p.m.

Minnich allegedly told the investigator, when asked about the fire, "It wasn't intentional." and "I didn't do anything intentional." When asked how it was accidental, Minnich, according to the court report, responded that he couldn't be arrested since he wouldn't turn anything into the insurance company.

On March 17, 2010 Minnich filed a proof of loss with Westfield Insurance Group for $161,000. The document contained false, misleading and incomplete information, police said.