Brown gets 10-20 years for arson

Defendant pleads guilty to setting two fires in three days


From Staff Reports

LOCK HAVEN — James Arnold Brown has been sentenced to 10 to 20 years in state prison.

Brown, 54, of East Park Street, Lock Haven, entered guilty pleas earlier this fall to two first degree felonies for starting two separate fires in the city of Lock Haven in 2018, Clinton County District Attorney Dave Strouse said.

On Monday in Clinton County Court, Brown was sentenced by Judge Michael Salisbury.

In a span of three days in May of 2018, Brown set fire to a pickup truck and a pile of debris against the Fallon House at 131 E. Water St., St. The fire was quickly extinguished by city firefighters preventing considerable damage to the structure.

And three days later, Brown set fire to furniture located on the front porch of a residence at 222 E. Water St. Firefighters were again able to control the fire and prevent considerable damage to the structure itself.

This case was delayed in the court system for an extended period of time as Brown underwent extensive psychological evaluations to determine his competency to stand, Strouse explained.

Brown’s attorney, Clinton County Public Defender Patrick Johnson, requested the court impose concurrent sentences, and citedBrown’s extensive mental health history as an important factor for the court to consider. Brown had previously been convicted of arson and served an extended prison sentence as a result, and Johnson suggested that his fascination with fire stemmed from his mental health condition, Strouse said.

District Attorney Strouse argued that Brown’s history and the current offenses proved that he posed a clear and immediate danger to the people of Clinton County, and any lesser sentence would place the community at further undue risk.

Brown was immediately committed to the State Correctional Institution at Camp Hill to serve his sentence.


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