Third Street arson cases continued
By Liz Beavers
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - The Keyser man charged with intentionally setting fire to a Third Street home last March made a court appearance Friday but the case was continued until March.
Neil David Lambka, 49, is charged with two counts of first degree arson in connection with the late-night fire that left two people homeless and injured a firefighter.
Lambka appeared in Mineral County Circuit Court via teleconference from the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail, where he remains incarcerated.
Prosecuting attorney Cody Pancake told Judge Jay Courrier during the 9 a.m. hearing that an investigator from the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office had originally been slated to testify Friday but was not asked to travel to Keyser due to the expected bad weather.
Pancake offered to call the investigator so he could testify over the phone, but attorney Brian Vance, representing Lambka, said he would rather not conduct the questioning in that manner.
Vance also asked Pancake for a copy of the report from the second fire at the same home in which Christopher Gordon Thrasher, also of Keyser, was charged.
That fire occurred July 24 and had been discovered at approximately 8 a.m. by a Keyser Police Department officer who had answered a call for a report of a person screaming in the area.
Thrasher, charged with first degree arson and breaking and entering, was also scheduled to appear Friday but his hearing was continued as well.
Judge Courrier set Lambka’s next appearance for March 12, with a half-hour set aside for the hearing.
“I assume at that time we’ll probably set one more hearing date and then I’ll set a court date,” Courrier said.