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Arsonist gets 3 years in prison

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By J. STEVEN DILLON

For the Review Times

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

Hancock County Common Pleas Judge Jonathon Starn imposed the sentence Monday on Chad M. Reinhart, 45.

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 Monday, 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 in the lower range of two to eight years. She said the defendant’s mental health issues were an ongoing situation, but the investigation determined he intentionally started the fire because he wanted to get attention.

“This was the second fire that he has set,” Limerick said, noting a 2010 misdemeanor arson conviction.

Public defender Ken Sass told the court that his client has a substantial mental health problem and 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 is most likely to get the treatment he needs.

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

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

The defendant 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.

Dillon: 419-427-8423

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