YOUNGSTOWN Judge sentences arsonist to two years in prison

The judge scoffed at the arsonist's offer to make monthly restitution payments.
YOUNGSTOWN -- A Woodhurst Drive man will spend two years in prison -- one for each time he torched an Austintown house last year.
Jeffrey King, 28, was sentenced Thursday by Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. He had pleaded guilty in November to two counts of arson, both fourth-degree felonies. He got one year for each count.
Assistant Prosecutor Patrick Pochiro said King set fire to a vacant house on Mildred Street in Austintown in April. The house did not completely burn, so King burned it again in August. Authorities said the second fire burned the house to the ground.
Offer refused: King, who also lists an address on Tod Avenue in Warren, said his addiction to drugs and alcohol caused him to start the fires. He asked Judge Krichbaum to place him on probation instead of imposing a prison sentence, and offered to pay for the damage he caused by making monthly payments.
"Good efforts and monthly payments are the same stuff you shovel out of a horse barn and put on your garden," Judge Krichbaum said before imposing the prison term.
In the first fire, King broke in through a kitchen window and used combustible materials such as newspaper to set the fire in three different places inside the house. In the second fire, he ignited combustible materials in a bedroom closet. Accelerants were not used.
The house was a rental property that was furnished but not rented at the time. The building was not insured, and its value is estimated at about $25,000, Pochiro said.

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