Judge raises bail for suspect in arson Montgomery firefighter accused in two blazes

November 14, 1996|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

A District Court judge increased the bail yesterday for a Montgomery County firefighter accused of setting fire to a car and a house Tuesday in Mount Airy.

Troy D. Murdock, 23, is being held at Carroll County Detention Center on a full bond of $50,000.

District Judge JoAnn Ellinghaus-Jones set conditions that require Murdock to report daily to parole and probation officials, if he posts bail.

A District Court commissioner initially set bail Tuesday so that Murdock could have posted $12,500 to gain his freedom while awaiting trial, court records show.

Murdock was arrested about 7 a.m. Tuesday in Mount Airy, a short distance from the fire scenes. He was charged by state fire marshals with arson and malicious burning.

The house suffered minor damage and the vehicle was destroyed.

Arson carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. Malicious burning has a maximum penalty of five years and a $5,000 fine.

Police said they are investigating two incidents, a burglary in Eldersburg and a stolen auto in Mount Airy, that might involve the suspect. Police believe both are related.

Murdock is on administrative leave pending an investigation, Lt. John Gilbert, the Montgomery County Fire Department's internal affairs officer, said Tuesday.

He referred all other questions to state police.

Dale Lowman, chief of Mount Airy Volunteer Fire Company, said Murdock joined that agency in April 1994. Lowman said he has been instructed not to discuss the investigation.

The chief described Murdock as "quiet, respectful, very well-disciplined and coming from a long line of firefighters."

Murdock worked well with other firefighters and never had disciplinary problems, the chief said.

Pub Date: 11/14/96

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