Arson lands Warren man in state prison

A Warren man is headed to state prison on arson charges stemming from a May 2021 fire at his own residence.

Raymond L. Shaffer, 32, of 19 Elm St., was sentenced Friday by President Judge Maureen Skerda on charges of arson and causing and risking catastrophe.

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.

Skerda sentenced Shaffer to a total of 21-42 months in state prison for the fire.

He was sentenced to 15 months to 30 months incarceration, $1,300 in fines and fees, submission of a DNA sample and to undergo a mental health evaluation on the arson charge.

Restitution at that charge included $33,405.33 to Erie Insurance as well as $10.840.59 to another victim.

On the risking catastrophe charge, Shaffer was sentenced to an additional six to 12 months incarceration and two years probation.


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