Judge sends arsonist to prison


Coffee, 54, set fire to relative’s mobile home

By Melanie Yingst - Miami Valley Today



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MIAMI COUNTY — On Tuesday, an Englewood man who set a Union Township mobile home on fire was sentenced to serve one year in prison for fourth-degree felony arson in Miami County Common Pleas Court.

Richard Coffee, 54, entered a plea of guilty to the charge in July. According to defense attorney Steve Layman, it was Coffee’s first felony offense. Layman said the pre-sentence investigation noted “some bad blood in the family” over a family dispute over the property because another family inherited the land on which the trailer was located. He said Coffee confessed to lighting his nephew’s trailer on fire and took responsibility for it and plans to pay restitution.

“I’m sorry for my actions on that day. It’ll never happen again,” Coffee said. “I was fed up with the (victims) and their actions and what they were doing.”

Judge Stacy Wall noted Coffee expressed no remorse, including his statement “that he was fed up” with the victims to the court. Coffee later broke his bond conditions by returning to the property last May, setting his own house trailer on fire on the same property.

“It’s troubling you don’t have a sense of the impact of what you did,” Wall said.

Miami County Assistant Prosecutor Janna Parker said arson offenses needed to be taken seriously and Coffee set the fire without knowing if anyone was inside the structure. Parker said Coffee was a risk to his family and those around him and requested a prison sentence.

The victim requested $60,000 in restitution, but failed to provide statements from an insurance company or other documentation for the home and its contents. The victim was not at the court hearing. Judge Wall set a hearing for restitution on Oct. 3.

Coffee also must register as an arson offender once a year with the sheriff’s office of the county in which he resides.

On Jan. 23, the Miami County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a fully engulfed structure fire in the area of Iddings Road and Kessler-Frederick Road in Union Township. After an investigation, Coffee was charged with arson.

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Coffee, 54, set fire to relative’s mobile home

By Melanie Yingst

Miami Valley Today

Reach Melanie Yingst at myingst@aimmediamidwest.com

©2019 Miami Valley Today, all rights reserved.

Reach Melanie Yingst at myingst@aimmediamidwest.com

©2019 Miami Valley Today, all rights reserved.