Worcester County

John Edward Cropper Convicted of West Ocean City Arson

Worcester County, MD – A Worcester County Circuit Court Jury has convicted John Edward Cropper of Arson following a 3-day trial in Snow Hill, MD.

The arson was committed on June 22, 2021, from a house fire at Harbor Road in West Ocean City, Maryland.

The Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office determined a fire near the commercial harbor that destroyed a home, and a boathouse, damaged three other homes, and sent two firefighters to the hospital, was intentionally set.

A Worcester County Grand Jury indicted Cropper on two counts of 1st degree arson, one count of 2nd degree arson, three counts of malicious destruction of property and two counts of reckless endangerment.

Following a trial presided by the Honorable Judge Beau Oglesby, the jury returned “guilty on all counts” after about an hour of deliberation.

Worcester County Fire Marshal Matthew Owens wants to thank the tireless efforts of the team of internal and allied investigators that spent hundreds of hours bringing this case to trial. The Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Office, Worcester County Bureau of Investigation, Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office K9 Division, Ocean City Police Department Forensic Investigation Unit and the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office all played a significant role in the successful outcome of this case.

John Edward Cropper with a long history of arson in the Ocean City area dating back to 1986 will have a pre-trial sentencing investigation and psychological evaluation performed before determining the amount of time he will spend incarcerated.

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