Saturday, July 26, 2014         

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Suspect in Aiea arson case pleads not guilty

By Gregg K. Kakesako


A 66-year-old Aiea man. who suffered critical burns after allegedly setting fire to his rented cottage last month, entered a plea of not guilty in Circuit Court this morning.

An Oahu grand Jury indicted Ross Gudgel Wednesday for first-degree arson for allegedly starting the fire on Honomanu Street.

Circuit Judge Richard Perkins set the week of Sept.4  as trial date before Circuit Judge Rom Trader.

Gudgel remains in custody unable to post $250,000 bail.

The Prosecutor’s Office said police found three cans of a possible accelerant in the cottage where the fire started and two 5-gallon buckets filled with fertilizer and metal bolts on a bed.

Witnesses told police they heard a loud explosion on May 31 and saw the cottage on Honomanu Street on fire. One of them helped Gudgel climb out of the cottage through a window. Others tried to put out the fire with garden hoses.

Paramedics took Gudgel to Straub Hospital in critical condition for treatment of his burns. Police arrested him June 23 after his release from the hospital.

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