On Saturday, May 19, at approximately 9:30 p.m., and responded to a .
When an officer arrived at the scene, the first floor of the building was completely engulfed in flames and there was heavy smoke on the second floor.
After a joint investigation by the Whitpain Township Police Department, Whitpain Township Fire Marshal’s Office, Montgomery County Detective Bureau and the Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal’s Office, the cause of the fire was determined to be arson, according to a release from Whitpain Police Department.
On Saturday at approximately 11:45 p.m., Officer Seth Homan received a phone call at Whitpain Police Department. According to the Affadavit of probable cause, caller Mary Murphy reported her friend, Marvin Mills, came to her house in Montgomeryville after being assaulted on Railroad Ave. and Oak St. in the West Ambler section of Whitpain Township.
Mills told the officer he was with Ricky O’Donnell, of Penllyn, and Ebonee Prince, resident of 228 Railroad Ave. Mills said there was a disturbance inside the residence over money between O’Donnell and Prince. O’Donnell came out of the residence, but went back inside shortly after.
Mills said he was sitting in his car and when O’Donnell went back into the residence, he was struck in his face by an unknown male, knocking out teeth and causing lacerations.
“Mills stated after he was struck in the face he looked at the residence and smoke was coming out of the windows,” says the affidavit.
According to the affidavit, on Sunday, May 20, a concerned citizen spoke to Officer Seth Homan who reported, “Ricky O’Donnell and Marvin Mills sent Ebonee Prince to get crack which turned out to be bad. The two men were seen smoking the crack in a small four door car. Ricky O’Donnell stated he was going to burn her house down.”
On Monday, May 21, Mills came to the Whitpain Township Police Department and said he and O’Donnell were met by Prince at 228 Oak St. on Saturday. She had gone out and bought crack cocaine for them but when she returned, got into an argument with O’Donnell about the cocaine.
Mills told police that O’Donnell made the comment, “fuck this, I’m gonna set the house on fire.”
Mills left the house while O’Donnell lit a lighter a looked for something to light on fire, leaving only O’Donnell in the house.
On Tuesday, May 22, Whitpain Township Police arrested Richard O’Donnell, 58-years-old, of Penllyn, for the arson and related offenses.
He was arraigned in front of and remanded to Montgomery County Correctional Facility.