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Published: Friday, 11/1/2013


Trio charged in alleged arson-for-hire on Sept. 29

Court documents say insurance claim was goal


Money changed hands at least twice before a house in central Toledo went up in flames in September, court documents allege.

A father-daughter duo and a second man all are charged with one count each of arson and aggravated arson for a Sept. 29 blaze that caused $12,000 damage to 624 Pinewood Ave.

Charged are Savannah Bibbs, 22, of 709 Butterfield Dr.; her father, Stephen Gibbs, 40, of 4 Charlevoix Ct., and Malcolm Richardson, 50, whose address is listed as the Cherry Street Mission, 105 17th St.

Mr. Richardson was arraigned Wednesday in Toledo Municipal Court and ordered held in the Lucas County jail in lieu of $100,000 bond.

Ms. Bibbs and Mr. Gibbs are scheduled to appear in court Nov. 12.

At the time of the fire, Ms. Bibbs reportedly lived at the Pinewood address and allegedly paid Mr. Gibbs $500 cash to have the 1½ story, 1905-vintage home set on fire so she could make a claim against a renter’s insurance policy, according to court records.

From his cut, Mr. Gibbs allegedly paid Mr. Richardson $200 to actually set the fire, court documents state.

Mr. Richardson allegedly entered and went up to a second-floor bedroom, where he lit a gasoline-filled soda bottle, according to court records.

Fire Lt. Matthew Hertzfeld said crews were dispatched to the fire at 7:02 a.m. and, upon arrival, found smoke and fire on the second floor. No one was inside when firefighters searched the property, the lieutenant said. The property, valued at $17,100, is owned by Ashford Nawoka, according to Lucas County land records.

Contact Taylor Dungjen at tdungjen@theblade.com, or 419-724-6054, or on Twitter @taylordungjen.

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