McGonigal Gets Probation for Setting Fire to Trailer

Jimmy Leonard McGonigal (Provided photo)

Jimmy Leonard McGonigal (Provided photo)

CLEARFIELD – A Frenchville man pleaded guilty to arson for setting a trailer on fire during plea and sentencing court Tuesday.

Jimmy Leonard McGonigal, 38, 2405 Keewaydin Rd., Frenchville, also pleaded guilty to recklessly endangering another person and a summary harassment charge.

He was sentenced by Judge Paul Cherry to two years of probation, and he was fined $350 plus costs. He must also pay restitution of more than $620.

The charges stem from an incident Sept. 26 in Frenchville.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, police were called to McGonigal’s residence where he had set a fire inside the trailer. The victim stated her boyfriend, McGonigal, had been drinking and causing a disturbance by throwing things around the home. After he threw a bowl of spaghetti on her, she called 911. This upset him and he set a fire in the trailer. He then fled on foot.

She yelled for help and two men who were outside were able to help her put the fire out. She said McGonigal lit the mattress in one room and a computer chair in another bedroom. They put the fire out with water and liquid laundry detergent. They then threw the mattress and chair into the yard.

Another witness told police that McGonigal came out of his trailer and made a comment that he shouldn’t go inside because he had just lit a fire there. The witness thought McGonigal was lying until he heard the victim yelling for help. He and another man went in where they saw the mattress and the office chair were on fire. He commented that if they had not been there to help put the fire out, the trailer would have gone up in flames.

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