Man gets probation in house explosion

WARREN -- One of the two men accused of causing the explosion of a house on Mercer Street while taking copper pipes from its basement has been placed on probation.
Judge W. Wyatt McKay of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court put Michael A. McVicker, 21, of Palmyra Road, Lordstown, on five years' probation Wednesday.
The judge also ordered McVicker make restitution and pay court costs. McVicker earlier had pleaded guilty to an attempted burglary charge.
He and another man, James T. McElrath, 20, of Atlantic Street Northeast, were arrested in June and charged in the explosion, which destroyed the house in late May. Police accused the two of breaking in through the basement and ripping out the gas line, which caused the explosion.
McElrath also appeared before Judge McKay on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to a vandalism charge. He will be sentenced later after completion of a presentence investigation.

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