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Montoursville Man Charged with Muncy Creek Fire

By Staff | Jan 22, 2009

A Montoursville man was in court Thursday afternoon on charges he

intentionally set fire to an ex-girlfriend’s house in Muncy Creek Township.

Frank Cramm tried to hide his face as he was led into court.

The district attorney’s office alleges Cramm set fire to Jill Hiller’s home in December of 2007.

A fire marshal determined the blaze was started on the kitchen stove. Hiller was away on a business trip in Philadelphia at the time.

Prosecutors say DNA on a beer bottle found inside the victim’s home matched that of the defendant, Frank Cramm.

According to court papers, Hiller and Cramm had a rocky three-year relationship. She got a Protection from Abuse Order against him in April of 2007.

The victim’s father, Bud Hiller, said, “He did beat her up different times, and if he gets out on bail, she’s still at risk of having him threaten her.”

Cramm’s friends painted a different picture of the defendant outside the courtroom after the hearing. They say there’s no way he’s guilty.

Rob Fulp explained, “He’s always willing to help; he’s an all-around good guy. He has a great family. He has a lot of great friends looking out here for him too, and I can’t say that for the other party.”

The judge held Cramm on all charges, including arson, reckless endangerment, burglary, and more.

Attorneys for both sides say they’re confident heading to trial.

Assistant District Attorney Melissa Kalaus said, “I think everybody involved with this investigation did an excellent, outstanding job, and I have absolutely no doubts that should this go to trial, we’ll win.”

Defense Attorney George Lepley noted, “There was no indication of fingerprints; there was no indication that anyone had seen him or his vehicle, or a vehicle like his, in the area. I mean, it was an extremely weak case.”

The judge did reduce Cramm’s bail from $250,000 to $150,000. He remains locked up at the Lycoming County Prison.