A Branchville NJ man is set to be sentenced for arson after reportedly admitting to having set fire to three local buildings over a three-year period.
According to authorities, the 68-year-old suspect started a fire on two occasions at a three-building storage area at Wilco Air Conditioning Refrigeration Heating. The facility is located on Mill Street in Branchville, New Jersey. The incidents reportedly occurred in November 2012 and November 2013.
The suspect also allegedly set fire to a warehouse operated by Habitat for Humanity Restore, which is located on Milk Street in Branchville, NJ.
Investigators were able to track down the suspect after an eyewitness contacted police and reported seeing the suspect at the Wilco buildings shortly before the 2013 fire.
Police found the suspect at his home on Milk Street and placed him under arrest. According to officials, the suspect’s residence is just blocks away from the sites of the fires.
After the suspect allegedly admitted to a detective that he had started all three fires, he was charged with third degree arson.
Now the suspect has entered a guilty plea on the arson charges. After reaching the plea agreement with prosecutors, the suspect appeared in Sussex County Superior Court and admitted to starting the fires. As a result of the guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to drop three separate charges for criminal mischief.
The suspect will have to return to court on June 19 for sentencing. Since arson is classified as a third degree felony, he could potentially have faced a sentence of 3-5 years in New Jersey State Prison. However, the terms of the plea deal call for him to be sentenced to 5 years of probation.
The suspect will also be required to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and pay heavy fines for starting the fires.
For further information about this case, view the NJ.com article entitled “Man Pleads Guilty to Setting 3 Fires Over 3 Years in Branchville.”