$8,500 Check rewarded to Arson Informant in Rome

October 10th, 2022 – 5:05 PM

Press Release –

Floyd County Fire Marshal Mary Catherine Chewning, Assistant District Attorney Natalie Staats and Ken LeCroy, Georgia Arson Control Consultant presented a check for $8,500 to an out-of-state confidential informant Monday for information that led to the arrest and conviction of two men for the arson of a stately home at 11 Craton Road south of Rome in February of 2019.

Donald Eric Luallen and Stanley Edward Stephens were arrested in April of 2019 based on information provided by the informant, who requested anonymity during the presentation ceremony in Rome Monday. Stephens had owned the 5,900 square foot home for more than 15 years prior to a foreclosure in 2018.

Staats said Monday that the informant overheard one of the men talking about what he had done and that he was upset because he had not been paid for what he had done. The informant had no knowledge of the potential reward money and notified law enforcement authorities near her home “because it was the right thing to do”. Those officials in turn reached out to local law enforcement and the Fire Marshal’s office in Rome.

Funds for the reward come from a pool of money contributed largely by insurance companies, according to LeCroy

“I’m planning to use the money for a down payment on a new home,” the informant told the officials in Rome Monday.

Three years ago, Chewning said that the case was one of the largest arson events in Floyd County’s history. 

Stephens entered a guilty plea to arson and insurance fraud charges four months ago and was credited with time served in jail since his arrest and sentenced to 12 years on probation. Luallen subsequently entered a plea to first-degree arson in September and was sentenced to 12 years, with 24 months to serve at the Floyd County Jail where he will have to complete a Residential Substance Abuse Treatment program before he can be released. Together, Luallen and Stephens must make $72,000 in restitution to Regions Bank.

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