CLEARFIELD – A Woodland man who has been accused of arson after lighting his residence on fire because it was “haunted” had all charges bound over to court by Magisterial District Judge Jerome Nevling during Centralized Court on Wednesday at the Clearfield County Jail.
Robert Glenn Sharrer II, 29, of Woodland is facing charges of arson (two counts); risking catastrophe; reckless burning or exploding; criminal mischief; and recklessly endangering another person. His bail has been set at $250,000 monetary.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on May 17, Trooper Adam K. Gibson of the Clearfield-based state police assisted with a suspected arson investigation at 1423 Pinetop Rd., Bradford Township. At approximately 11 a.m. on the day in question, Clearfield County Control received two calls for the fire.
Fire personnel responded and ultimately extinguished the fire; however, the residence was a total loss. Damage exceeded $176,000, said Gibson, who indicated through the course of investigation and interviews of witnesses, he learned the suspect, Sharrer, had intentionally set the fire.
Jeff Aveni of the Clearfield County Probation Department was interviewed at the scene. He was nearby and had observed the fire; he immediately went to the residence where Sharrer was outside. Aveni asked Sharrer what had happened to which the defendant allegedly replied, “I lit the [expletive] on fire . . . it’s haunted.” When asked by fire personnel if any flammable items were inside the residence, Sharrer allegedly said, “Yea . . . gas . . . cause I put it there.”
Aveni said after Sharrer talked about setting the fire, he asked, “So, how much time, am I gonna get for this?”
Brandi Pritts, who is the defendant’s girlfriend and who lived at the residence with him, was interviewed at the scene. She was at work at the time of the fire and notified about it. Pritts went to the residence and found the defendant sitting on the tailgate of his truck.
Pritts asked Sharrer about what had happened and what he had done. Sharrer allegedly told her, “I lit the house on fire . . . it looks a lot better now.” As Pritts was walking away, she allegedly overheard him say, “It was haunted anyways.”
On May 17 Cpl. Greg Agosti examined the scene of the fire. He’s a certified fire investigator as recognized by the Pennsylvania State Police and the International Association of Arson Investigators. Agosti determined the fire was caused by the introduction of direct flame by human means.
Cpl. Harold Rinker assisted at the scene with his accelerant detection K-9. The K-9 detected the presence of an ignitable liquid in the basement area of the residence.
Upon further investigation, Agosti observed a sheen indicative of an ignitable liquid on the floor area of the basement and within the partially burnt remains of a cardboard box.
On May 17, a search warrant was obtained and served on Sharrer. His clothing was obtained for purposes of evidence. Rinker and his K-9 conducted a search of the defendant’s clothing in an attempt to find the presence of accelerants/ignitable liquids.
The search of the clothing was conducted in the crime room area of the Clearfield-based state police barracks. The K-9 gave positive indications for an odor of accelerant/ignitable liquid on each item. The clothing will be sent to the Erie Regional Crime Lab for further analysis.