LIMA — A Lima man who police say started a fire at the Family Promise transitional home in Lima pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated arson on Thursday in Allen County Common Pleas Court.
Roger Brown, 47, who is listed in court records as homeless, was indicted in June in connection with the fire at 1132 W. Market St. that occurred in February 2019. He was scheduled to appear Wednesday afternoon for a pre-trial hearing that was ultimately postponed due to scheduling issues at the court. Brought back Thursday for the hearing, Brown elected to plead guilty to the charge against him.
Brown faces up to eight years in prison when he is sentenced on Sept. 18. As a convicted arsonist, he will be required to register with authorities annually for the rest of his life.
The Market Street home where the fire took place was owned by a local church that gave permission to Family Promise to use as a transitional home for 18- to 20-year-old men. The fire caused $45,000 in damages, prosecutors said.
Brown reportedly was given the opportunity in 2018 to be the house manager at the transitional home. He was homeless at the time.