Grand jury indicts second person in Hitching Post fire

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) _ A federal grand jury in Wyoming has indicted a second New Mexico man on arson charges in a 2010 fire that destroyed a landmark Wyoming hotel.

Fifty-one-year-old Ajay Jariwala, of Albuquerque, appeared in court Thursday in Albuquerque. He's scheduled to get an attorney on Friday.

Robert Rodriguez, also from New Mexico, pleaded not guilty last year to arson charges in the fire at the Hitching Post. The Cheyenne hotel was a favorite lodge and watering hole for Wyoming lawmakers.

A civil lawsuit is pending between owners of the hotel and an insurance company, which has refused to pay a $13.6 million claim on the grounds that the fire was arson. The suit lists Jariwala among the hotel owners.

The indictment against Jariwala alleges he retained Rodriguez to set the fire.

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