Dec 12, 2013 The Associated Press

Laramie man acquitted of murder

LARAMIE -- A Laramie man who stabbed the husband of a friend to death has been acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges.

Jurors found Tim Harnden not guilty Wednesday after deliberating for just over two and a half hours.

The 67-year-old showed little emotion other than relief as the verdicts were read. He declined to comment.

Harnden killed 44-year-old Paul Hamilton during a fight at a home Harden shared with Hamilton's estranged wife, Carole Hamilton, and another housemate. Paul Hamilton had been living in a camper outside the home.

Investigators alleged that Harnden was romantically interested in Carole Hamilton and wanted to get rid of her husband. Harnden said Paul Hamilton was a violent man and he killed him in self- defense.

Hotel arsonist appeals conviction

CHEYENNE -- A New Mexico man serving six years in prison for commissioning the arson attack that burned down a landmark hotel in Cheyenne is appealing his conviction.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal sentenced Ajay Jariwala of Albuquerque on Sept. 9 after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit arson.

Prosecutors have said Jariwala was a principal in the company that owned the hotel. They say he commissioned the arson to try to defraud an insurance company of more than $13 million.

Jariwala, who's now serving time at a federal prison in Colorado, is a New Mexico hotelier and was a principal in CJM Hospitality LLC, the company that bought the Hitching Post out of a bankruptcy proceeding for $1 million shortly before the fire.

Two other men have pleaded guilty to involvement in torching the hotel's main lodge building in September 2010. Prosecutors say Jariwala retained the two to burn the building after taking out the insurance policy.

A civil lawsuit between the insurance company, National Surety Corp., and CJM is still pending before Freudenthal. The insurance company is seeking damages from CJM, saying it incurred substantial costs in investigating the fraudulent claim.

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