Accused arsonist to take lie detector test

November 10, 2014

By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.



HART — The Hesperia businessman and outgoing village councilman accused of burning his restaurant last spring appeared before 27th Circuit Court Judge Anthony Monton Monday morning, Nov. 10, with his attorney Matthew Ryan Kacel, who indicated that his client will undergo a polygraph test.

David Sean Pates, 32, a co-owner of the Hesperia House restaurant, appeared for a pretrial hearing Monday. His pretrial has been adjourned to Dec. 8 at 10 a.m. He is currently out on bond after posting 10 percent of $25,000 when he turned himself in to authorities in September for allegedly setting his own restaurant on fire. Monton continued Pates’ bond.

Pates is being charged with third-degree arson, which is a 10-year felony, and preparing to burn real property, a five-year felony. A plea bargain is in the works that entails a guilty plea to count I in exchange for a dismissal of count II, Oceana County Prosecutor Joe Bizon told Monton Monday. If the plea bargain is accepted, the prosecution is recommending a maximum of 90 days in jail.

Pates was arrested in North Carolina, and surrendered to local authorities on an outstanding warrant Sept. 30.

The OCSO issued a two-count felony warrant for Pates at the end of August for allegedly committing arson to the restaurant last April.

The restaurant, which is still standing, has not been open for business since the alleged arson occurred, the night of April 29, said Lt. Craig Mast of the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office. Hesperia House is located at 205 S. Division St. in the village limits.

“It was deemed that both fires were not naturally occurring,” Mast said. “There was no link of connection between the two fires.” There was a time difference of a few hours between the two fires, he said.

Investigators immediately became suspicious of the blaze, because there were two separate fires in a hallway area inside the building, Mast said. The alleged arson was investigated by Deputy Jeff Brown, a fire expert for the Oceana County Fire Investigation Team, as well as experts for the restaurant’s insurance company.

The restaurant sustained “considerable smoke damage,” Mast said, and no injuries occurred from the blaze.

According to the Oceana County Directory, Pates was appointed last November to a partial term on the Hesperia Village Council. He was not on the ballot during the midterm election last Tuesday, Nov. 4.


Area Churches