NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Sept. 7, 2022) – The Newcomerstown man who set his house on fire two years ago is heading to prison.
37-year-old Lance Barrington will spend two to three years behind bars for igniting the September 20th blaze that gutted his East Main Street home. Assistant County Prosecutor Fred Scott says there were no injuries and damage was limited to Barrington’s own property, but that doesn’t make what he did ok in the eyes of the law.
“You can burn personal property but you cannot burn a structure down just because of the nature of the crime. It endangers firefighters, neighbors, and just the general public.”
Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court Judge Elizabeth Thomakos ordered the prison term for Barrington, who went on trial back in July and was found guilty of aggravated arson. Scott says he appeared to be experiencing a mental health issue at the time of the crime but refused to plead not guilty by reason of insanity.
“We also offered him probation as an option, too, if he would continue to abide with mental health treatment and he refused to do that as well.”
Barrington had been deemed incompetent to stand trial but underwent restoration therapy until he was able to understand the proceedings. His conviction carries a lifetime arson offender designation.