Moore to Serve Sentence for Arson on Home Detention

CLEARFIELD – A decision has been made on where a Lanse man, who admitted to starting a fire with two other former firefighters, will serve his sentence.

Kenneth Moore, 21, pleaded guilty to arson last October when he was sentenced to 12 months to two years in jail, plus an additional five years probation.

Moore has yet to begin serving this sentence because of concerns for his health.

President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman has reviewed information from Moore’s physician as well as the recommendation of the doctor at the county jail.

Moore had an organ transplant and is vulnerable to infections, according to previous articles.

Because the jail does not have a medical isolation unit and there is no way to separate Moore from the general population, the doctor at the jail said he felt that if Moore were incarcerated at the jail, “it would put him at serious risk.”

After discussion in motions court in May, Ammerman asked the district attorney’s office to provide a letter on their position on Moore’s commitment to jail or proceeding with using a GPS unit at his home.

This week Ammerman ruled that Moore be placed on home detention for 18 months. According to a court order, the district attorney did not object to this solution.

These charges stem from a fire in October of 2015 in Chester Hill. According to the affidavit of probable cause, police were asked to investigate the fire by Chester Hill Fire Department’s chief.

It was determined that the fire started inside a shed attached to the back of the home where a direct flame was used deliberately on some combustible materials.

From there the fire spread up the exterior rear of the unoccupied home and into the residence.

When the three men, Moore, Hunter Harris and Samuel Connor V, were interviewed about the fire on Oct. 26, 2015, they independently confessed after receiving their Miranda warnings. Their statements were consistent with each other, with the damage and the evidence at the scene.

They said while they were at the Hope Fire Station in Philipsburg in the early morning hours of Oct. 9, 2015, they talked about starting a fire in a vacant home Moore had previously located. They wanted a fire so they could respond there with their fire company that provides aid to the Chester Hill Fire Department.

Using hay, a cardboard toilet paper roll, a paper wrapper from a new toilet paper roll and a paper plate they created a fuel package for ignition. They traveled to the home where Moore dropped Harris and Connor off.

Harris placed the package inside an opening of the wood frame shed and he used a lighter that he obtained from Moore’s vehicle to ignite the fuel package. Harris and Connor went to the parking lot of Highway Pizza where they met back with Moore.

They then returned to the fire station in Philipsburg to wait for the call that came about 15 minutes later for the fire company to respond to a structure fire in Chester Hill. The three men returned to the scene with the fire company and assisted with putting out the fire.

Both Harris and Connor pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 12 months less two days to two years less one day in jail and five years probation. Among the three men, they owe restitution of more than $92,000.

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