Thursday, March 30, 2000

Morrow man guilty of setting bar fire




BY DAVID ECK
Enquirer Contributor

        LEBANON — A Morrow man on Wednesday was convicted on felony charges of breaking into the bar where his girlfriend worked and burning it down.

        Grady Gilkerson was found not guilty of a second count of breaking and entering and theft.

        He could get up to 30 months in prison when he is sentenced on April 7, said Warren County Assistant Prosecutor Carolyn Duvelius. The jury deliberated just over two hours.

        “I'm very happy,” she said. “The arson was our big one. That was the most important charge.”

        Mr. Gilkerson was charged with the 1999 burning of the Rolling Hills Lounge near Morrow. The blaze destroyed the bar, but there were no injuries.

        Prosecutors claimed Mr. Gilkerson set the blaze because he was angry about his girlfriend, Linda, a longtime bartender at Rolling Hills, being so committed to her job and customers. The couple have since married.

        Clara Hartmann, now 83, and her late husband opened the lounge nearly 30 years ago. It was being managed by her grandson, Daryl Hartmann, at the time of the fire.

        More than a dozen Hartmann family members and friends, including Mrs. Hartmann, mingled outside the courtroom awaiting the jury's verdict.

        The family, which hopes to rebuild the bar, clapped and jeered as Mr. Gilkerson was led away in handcuffs.

       



Gunman sought in fatal I-75 shooting
Sleepy? Put blame where it belongs
Officer apologizes for insult
Tax complaint may lead to change
Tax plan benefits non-public schools
Child rape case 'heartbreaking'
Death of 2-year-old described
Ruling may affect local nude dancing
Census seeks homeless amid bushes, trash bins
Drive-by killer no show in court
Watchdog keeps county on its toes
Margaret Thatcher to visit city Friday
Message to trucks removed
Queen City's moments to shine reflected in book
Report: Ohio's charter schools get poor grades
Some doubt usefulness of lowered alcohol limit
Baseball treasures catch top dollar
Ailey show is paradise for purists
GET TO IT
Group works to bring outdoor drama to area
Ohio natives know enough to make movie in Maui
TRISTATE DIGEST
AROUND THE COMMONWEALTH
Carlisle School Board member departing, but not going far
Colerain gets spring cleanup
Council: Keep recruit class
Culture celebration is a real mixer
Drug strike force chief quits
Former deejay's death suspicious
Hamilton schools buy building for offices, training center
Ky. House passes firearms bill
Lebanon council must fill empty seat
Legislators stalemate over budget
- Morrow man guilty of setting bar fire
N. Ky. studying east-west route
President of mental retardation board quits
Wyoming development on hold