Local man faces arson charge for burning camper


BUCKHANNON — Several area fire departments, along with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department, and WV State Police responded to the scene of a burning camper on Monday, March 22. 

Brandon Blaine Kelley, age 41, of Buckhannon, was arrested for first degree arson after he allegedly set fire to a camper across from the Sandstone Hollow Rd. on the Ivy Rd. side in Upshur County. According to court documents, the 911 caller stated that the accused seemed to be under the influence of “some kind of substance.”

As stated by multiple witnesses on scene, Kelley allegedly dowsed the camper in gasoline and set it on fire. Deputy T. Chidester with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department, multiple fire units and Corporal Menendez with the West Virginia State Police, responded to the scene to find the camper “burned almost completely,” according to the criminal complaint. Deputy Chidester reported that a nearby building was also partially burned, in addition to the ground surrounding the camper.

When officers arrived, Kelley was reportedly sitting in the back of a nearby SUV with another individual who stated that they were attempting to keep him calm. On the scene, Kelley allegedly admitted to setting the camper on fire but stated “the owner didn’t care because he said he would pay for the camper and all of the contents.”

According to court documents, Kelley also stated that DEA agents were hiding in the trees and aiming at him with a night scope. He claimed that they had kidnapped him the evening prior and held him hostage. It was reported in the complaint that Kelley did admit to “doing meth a few days earlier.”

If convicted on the felony offense of first-degree arson, Kelley faces 2-20 years in the State penitentiary. He is currently being held at Tygart Valley Regional Jail in lieu of a $10,000 cash only bond set by Magistrate Alan Suder.

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