Man sentenced for Fostoria arson

A man who set fire to a building in Fostoria last summer has been sentenced to prison for three years on an aggravated arson conviction.

Hancock County Common Pleas Court Judge Jonathon Starn imposed the sentence today on Chad M. Reinhart, 45, of Fostoria.

No fine was ordered, but Starn ordered Reinhart to pay restitution of about $16,000 to the owner of the fire-damaged building, and about $500 to the State Fire Marshal’s office, which investigated the case.

Reinhart, who did not make a statement in court today, had faced up to eight years in prison after pleading guilty in March to setting fire to a building at 519 W. Lytle St. on June 22. He lived in the area at the time of the fire.

No one was injured, but the severity of the charge was increased because there were people living in the building at the time of the fire.

Assistant County Prosecutor Colleen Limerick asked the court to impose a prison term on the lower range of 2 to 8 years. She said the defendant’s mental health issues were an ongoing situation, but that the investigation determined he had intentionally started the fire because he wanted to get attention.

“This was the second fire that he has set,” Limmerick said, noting a 2010 misdemeanor arson conviction on the defendant’s record.

Assistant public defender Ken Sass told the court that his client has a substantial mental health problem and that the crime was a “cry out for help, which did not occur.”

Sass urged the court to order Reinhart to Oakwoods Correctional Facility, the state facility in Lima where he was most likely to get the treatment he needs.

Starn said that while he can’t order Reinhart to a specific state prison, the defendant’s mental health issues would be made known to state prison officials to consider during the intake process.

Reinhart had originally pleaded innocent by reason of insanity to the offense, but withdrew the plea after an evaluation determined he was competent to stand trial.

Reinhart will be given credit for the 140 days he has spent in jail. He will be subject to the rules of the state’s arson registry for the rest of his life.

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