Williams ’01 arrested, charged with arson

Damien Williams ’01 was arrested yesterday on one count of Class A felony arson for his alleged involvement with a fire at Chi Gamma Epsilon fraternity on Dec. 9, 1999.

He is the fourth student to be arrested in connection with the fire, and the only one to be charged with arson.

Williams was arraigned in Lebanon District Court yesterday. The court scheduled a probable cause hearing for Feb. 2.

Hanover Police Detective Lt. Frank Moran said it is rare that probable cause is not found when an arrest warrant has been issued.

Because Williams is charged with a felony, he will face an indictment hearing later in February when the next grand jury convenes at the New Hampshire Superior Court.

Ross Fenderson ’00 was arrested directly following the incident at Chi Gam in December, and two other Dartmouth students were arrested earlier this month. All three were charged with criminal trespassing.

The four students allegedly broke into the fraternity. Citronella oil was then poured on a table and ignited, causing approximately $6,400 primarily in smoke damage.

Since the incident, Williams, of Effort, Penn., has been out of the state of New Hampshire. He was arrested yesterday in accordance with an agreement made with the police and his attorney, Moran said.

The arson charge carries a penalty of up to $4,000 in fines and up to 15 years in the state prison. Moran said there is also the potential for a judge to include restitution for damages.

The three other students involved — Fenderson, David O. Lopez ’02 and Brandon Purcell ’00 — were scheduled to be arraigned on one count of criminal trespassing on Jan. 25, but all three chose to continue their arraignment until their trials on April 5, in a sense, though not technically, pleading not guilty.

Fenderson, Lopez and Purcell, if convicted, face up to a year in the House of Corrections, up to $2,000 in fines, and restitution for damages.

Williams’ attorney, Charlie Buttrey, said he had no comment on the proceedings at this time.

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