Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Matthew Donald Kelly, 40, has been charged with burglary and arson in connection with the Jan. 13 fire that took place at the law office of Toni Pennington in Pawleys Island.
Kelly — owner of Lumpy's Bar and Grill in Pawleys Island — was arrested Tuesday on an unrelated charge of unlawful use of a telephone. The other charges were added Wednesday, Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Carrie Cuthbertson said.
"Kelly’s charge came about after supporting evidence showed him as being responsible for the" crime, Cuthbertson said, adding the law office is in the same building as the Islander Bar, located at 9185 Ocean Highway.
On the day of the fire, the Midway Fire Department said it was suspicious in nature.
"When sheriff’s deputies arrived, Midway personnel advised sheriff’s deputies after the fire was extinguished; they found the front door of the law firm forced open along with other evidence supporting arson," Cuthbertson said. The fire was isolated to the law firm.
This incident is still under investigation but after an extensive and thorough investigation up to this point by Georgetown County Sheriff’s Investigators, it has been determined Kelly was responsible for the malicious act, said Cuthbertson.
Kelly will remain at the Georgetown County Detention Center where he awaits a bond hearing.
Two other workers from Lumpy's — Ronnie Gene Ackley, Jr. 41 of Pawleys Island and 37-year-old Chris Brian Campbell of Lexington — remain in jail charged with murder. They are accused of the Feb. 9 beating death of 37-year-old Thomas Unrue Jr.. That incident took place in the parking lot of Lumpy’s .