Trial date set for man charged with burning down house


Danny Keith Haley of Gassville, who set fire to a house he and his wife were renting following an argument between the couple, is scheduled to go to trial next month.

The date was set during a session of Baxter County Circuit Court Thursday.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed in the case, the 54-year-old Haley admitted setting a bed on fire in the residence along Moon Hollow Lane in the early morning hours of May 4th last year.

Haley, who was reported to be highly intoxicated at the time, said he had tried to put out the fire, but it quickly got out of control, and he had to flee the house.

He told a number of different stories regarding the fire. At first, he blamed the woman identified as his wife, Linda Laffoon, for starting the blaze, then said an unidentified person had been responsible. The next story involved the owner of the property wanting it burned down, and another version had him unplugging a heater in the bedroom and a mysterious stray spark setting the bed on fire.

Laffoon said she had left the residence before the fire trying to find the owner of the rental house to tell him Haley had been threatening to burn the structure throughout the day. When she returned, she told officers the house was fully involved.

Eventually Haley said he was responsible for the fire. He said he lit bedding on fire with a cigarette lighter.

No one was injured, but a family pet died in the burning house, according to police reports.

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