Plea In Manhattan Fatal Fire

U-S Attorney Barry Grissom

U-S Attorney Barry Grissom

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) A 30-year-old Manhattan man has pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact in a fatal arson.

U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom says in a release that Gavin Taylor Hairgrove pleaded guilty Monday for his role in a Feb. 6 fire at a Manhattan apartment building. Vansanta Pallem died as a result of inhaling gases from the fire.

Grissom’s office says Hairgrove admitted to being present when three co-defendants talked about what to do to keep the Riley County Police Department from searching an apartment where two of the co-defendants lived. One of the co-defendants later poured gasoline in a hallway of the apartments and started a fire to create a diversion.

Hairgrove faces up to 15 years in prison. Sentencing is Feb. 24.