Wednesday June 16th, 2021 10:21AM

Habersham County man arrested for setting fire to Cornelia hotel

By AccessWDUN Staff

A Habersham County man wanted for a Memorial Day fire at a Cornelia hotel is now behind bars. 

Shawn Paul Harkness, 44, of Demorest was booked into the Habersham County Detention Center on Saturday, June 5, according to jail records. 

Harkness faces a single charge of first-degree arson. 

In the initial investigation of the incident, authorities determined someone had purposely set fire to a storage room at the Days Inn on Level Grove Road the afternoon of May 31. Even though some of the rooms at the hotel were occupied at the time, no one was injured.

According to an arrest report from the Habersham County Sheriff's Office, deputies were called to a residence in Alto just after 12:30 a.m. on June 3. A woman who lived at the home told deputies she had discovered Harkness at the BP gas station on Georgia 365 near Charley Davis Road. She told authorities she knew who the suspect was and she was aware that he was wanted for setting the fire at the hotel. She also indicated she believed Harkness was under the influence of heroin before she found him. 

The report said one of the deputies entered the residence and found Harkness unresponsive. The deputy administered NARCAN, but Harkness remained unresponsive. EMS was called to the scene to take Harkness to the hospital. He was transferred to the detention center once he was released from the hospital. 


  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: Habersham County Sheriff's Office, Habersham County Detention Center, Shawn Harkness, first degree arson , Days Inn
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Habersham County man arrested for setting fire to Cornelia hotel
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