Geer Gets State Prison Time in Arson Case

CLEARFIELD – A Mahaffey man will serve up to 10 years in state prison for arson.

Raymond Christopher Geer, 30, pleaded guilty to arson, criminal conspiracy and 81 counts of recklessly endangering another person Monday during colloquy court.

Judge Fredric J. Ammerman sentenced him to four to 10 years in state prison. He was ordered to pay more than $28,630 in restitution.

Geer addressed the court saying he deeply apologized for everything he has done. “I did what I did and I regret it,” he admitted.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Nov. 19, 2016, firefighters were called to a house fire at 215 W. Main St., in Mahaffey. This two-story wood-framed home burned completely to the ground.

The fire was so severe that it caused the home next door to also catch fire and this house was also a complete loss. Both residences were unoccupied.

A total of 81 firefighters from numerous area fire companies from four counties were called to fight the fire.

After an investigation, it was determined that the fire was arson and had been caused by an open flame or open flame device.

Approximately a month later, two witnesses reported that Catherine A. Burnheimer told them that she and Geer were responsible for the fire. She stated that she was the look out while Geer lit the fire.

Geer said he thought the fire would be contained before it had a chance to spread, but had sent text messages to his cousin who lived next door, to move his cars so they wouldn’t be damaged by the fire.

The home belonged to Geer’s uncle who died just a few months earlier. Geer stated that he was incarcerated when his uncle passed away and wasn’t able to say goodbye.

When he talked about the fire, Geer said he used a lighter to set a pile of clothes on fire, saying his emotions got the best of him.

Burnheimer faces similar charges with her case still pending.

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