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Sentence stands in Elm St. arson case

A state prison sentence in an arson case will stand as a result of a Friday morning ruling.

Raymond L. Shaffer, 32, 19 Elm St., was sentenced last month to a total of 21 to 42 months incarceration.

He challenged that sentence in a Friday morning hearing.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, City of Warren police and fire responded to a fire at 19 Elm St., at about 8 a.m. Thursday, May 27, 2021.

“The garage behind 19 Elm St. was completely burned to the ground,” officers said in the affidavit. “The neighbor’s garage also caught on fire before the Warren Fire Department was able to extinguish the flames.”

Police located video footage of the area and identified Shaffer from that video entering the garage shortly before the fire, then leaving the property.

After Shaffer was placed under arrest, he “admitted to using a roll of toilet paper and a cigarette to light his garage on fire,” according to the affidavit.

President Judge Maureen Skerda said during Friday’s hearing that she reviewed the sentence she handed down and was certain that the sentence fell in the standard range of the guidelines.

First Assistant District Attorney Cody Brown said that the sentence was “appropriate” and noted that the fire damaged other houses.

In denying Shaffer’s motion, Skerda said she “carefully considered” the sentence and rejects his assertion that she abused her discretion.

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