CLEVELAND - A man arrested late Wednesday night was in court Friday facing an aggravated arson charge after a home exploded last week on West 83rd Street.
Today, Bill Calderwood pleaded not guilty. The judge issued a $300,000 surety bond.
The State argues Calderwood set in motion a string of events that resulted in the West 83rd Street explosion. The State also requested a half million dollar bond citing Calderwood's criminal record that involved two prior arson convictions. The defense argues that the State lacks probable cause.
Bill Calderwood claimed he was the victim for the past week and a half.
NewsChannel5 was there when he and his wife packed up their belongings and saw him at a Red Cross relief shelter a day later. Meanwhile, police were building a case. They arrested Calderwood for aggravated arson. More charges may follow.
People living in his west side community want more answers. Already, they’re getting a few, primarily about Calderwood’s past. He was twice convicted of arson in Michigan. He was sentenced to two and a half years in prison in 1979. And five years ago, Calderwood pled guilty to torching his own home for the insurance money.
“I’m so angry I hope they put him in prison for the rest of his life for the damage he did to all these houses,” said neighbor Sherry Vroman.
The blast knocked two houses and an apartment building to the ground. A half dozen other homes had serious structural damage and are unlivable. In all, nearly 60 homes were damaged.
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