LIMA — It hardly needed saying, but Judge Jeffrey Reed said it anyway.
“Whatever your reason was, we can’t have people going around setting fires. This kind of behavior can’t be condoned.”
With those words, Reed sentenced Lima resident Anthony Whaley, 62, to four year in prison Monday on a second-degree felony charge of aggravated arson.
Whaley was indicted in January by an Allen County grand jury on three counts of first-degree felony aggravated arson. Last month he agreed to a deal from prosecutors and agreed to guilty to a single arson charge in exchange for the state’s dismissal of the remaining counts.
Police say Whaley, a Lima native and longtime Las Vegas resident, caused damage to a residence at 1140 S. Union St. in Lima by deliberately starting the rear portion of the home on fire on Aug. 5, 2017.
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Tony Miller said two people were directly exposed to physical harm as the result of Whaley’s actions and said four additional persons could have suffered tragic circumstances. Miller asked the court to impose a six-year prison sentence.
Whaley, who said he “had no recollection of what I had done” on the night of the fire after drinking heavily, asked Reed for probation instead of incarceration, stating that “I don’t think prison will help me at this point in my life.”
Reed disagreed. The judge also said Whaley will be required to register as a convicted arson offender.
Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.