Pawleys Island man charged with law firm arson -, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Pawleys Island man, accomplice charged with law firm arson

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Matt Kelly (Source: Georgetown County Detention Center) Matt Kelly (Source: Georgetown County Detention Center)
Ronnie Ackley (Source: Georgetown County Sheriff's Office) Ronnie Ackley (Source: Georgetown County Sheriff's Office)

PAWLEYS ISLAND, SC (WMBF) - A Pawleys Island man is facing charges for arson of a law firm that sits next door to the bar he owns.

According to the Georgetown County Sheriff's Office, fire was set to the building shared by Toni Pennington Law Firm and Islander Bar on Ocean Highway on the morning of Jan. 13.

The flames, however, were contained to the law firm and evidence collected after the flames were extinguished pointed to arson.

Investigators determine 40-year-old Matthew Donald Kelly, owner of Lumpy's Bar and Grill next door, started the fire and was "responsible for the malicious act."

He has been charged with burglary and arson.

Supporting evidence later led deputies to charge 41-year-old Ronnie Gene Ackley Jr., Kelly's alleged accomplice, with burglary and arson. Warrants for those charges were served on Ackley in the Georgetown County Detention Center where he is charged with murder for the death of a man assaulted inside Lumpy's Bar and Grill on Feb. 9.

During that investigation, deputies determined Ronnie Ackley was an employee of Lumpy's Bar and Grill, owned by Matthew Kelly.

The fire is still under investigation as deputies work to determine a motive.

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