Pelham bar owner charged with arson

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 12, 2002

The owner of a Pelham bar that was destroyed by fire in May is free on bond after being arrested by Pelham police on Friday.

Robert M. Staples, 54, was arrested after a Shelby County Grand Jury handed down an indictment for second degree arson.

Police indicate Staples was responsible for the May 31 fire that destroyed Spanky’s Bar, which he owned at 3103 Pelham Parkway.

Officials from the Pelham Police Department said that Staples was released to the custody of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office on Nov. 8 where he posted $5000 bond.

He was released later that day, according to Capt. Mike DeHart of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

The investigation, which spanned more than five months, was conducted jointly by the Pelham Police Department, Pelham Fire Department, the Bureau of ATF and the State Fire Marshall’s Office.

The case was presented to the Grand Jury on Oct. 22.

Pelham Fire Marshall Steve Powell said that authorities responded to the structure fire call at 2:56 a.m. on May 31.

&uot;The cause was determined to be intentionally set,&uot; he said.

Powell said there were no civilian injuries caused by the fire.

Staples could not be reached for comment