Homeless man arraigned in deadly Easter house fire in Harrison Twp.

Shawn Albertson
Caption
Shawn Albertson

UPDATE @ 11:14 a.m. (Sept. 6):

A homeless man accused of causing the death of a 75-year-old man found in the rubble of a house fire in Harrison Twp. on Easter had his bond set at $1 million Thursday.

Shawn Albertson appeared in Montgomery County court for his arraignment.

INITIAL REPORT:

A homeless man accused of causing the death of a 75-year-old man found in the rubble of a house fire in Harrison Twp. on Easter now is indicted on several felonies stemming from the incident, according to the county prosecutor’s office.

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Shawn Albertson, 49, who is in the Warren County Jail on $100,000 bail on burglary and theft charges unrelated to the April 1 arson on Merrimac Avenue, is to be arraigned Sept. 6 in Montgomery County on the following charges:

  • Two counts of murder
  • Two counts of aggravated arson
  • Single counts of aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, aggravated drug possession, grand theft of a motor vehicle and grand theft of a firearm

Fire crews found the body of Gerald Lee Manns, 75, and initially believed no foul play was involved.

>> Death penalty sought in Easter house fire in Harrison Twp.

A death investigation began when relatives of Manns told authorities that items belonging to him — including his truck — were missing from the Merrimac Avenue property, according to the county prosecutor's office.

Eyewitnesses and video surveillance were used to identify Albertson as the person who abandoned the vehicle, which eventually was found in a residential Harrison Twp. neighborhood.

Further investigation led authorities to the Days Inn on Miller Lane in Butler Twp., where they found Albertson and 36-year-old Nancy Dalton in a room along with drugs and items belonging to Manns.

Investgators determined Dalton did not participate in the fire, but met with Albertson shortly after the fire.

Dalton, charged with aggravated drug possession, has pleaded guilty as charged. Sentencing for her has not been scheduled.

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