HOLLIDAYSBURG — An Altoona man who set fireplace in June 2019 to his former residence the place his marriage fell aside has been sentenced to 5 to 10 years in jail, adopted by 20 years of probation.
“The offenses you’ve dedicated are very critical,” Blair County Decide Jackie Bernard instructed Jerret T. Aungst on Thursday, who shook his head in settlement.
Aungst, who acknowledged utilizing methamphetamine when fireplace destroyed 3816 W. Chestnut Ave., apologized for his habits and requested for assist in coping with his drug dependancy.
The sentence was imposed after he was discovered responsible in April of arson, risking a disaster, housebreaking, recklessly endangering others and unauthorized use of a motorized vehicle.
The now 39-year-old Aungst will probably be credited for about two years of time served in county jail since his arrest. Nonetheless, he’ll be checking in with a parole or probation workplace via his 67th birthday.
Protection legal professional Christian Kerstetter stated he’ll evaluation the sentence, however he doesn’t anticipate to file a problem as a result of it falls throughout the state’s commonplace sentencing tips.
For a presentence investigation referenced in court docket, Aungst stated he “barely” remembers lighting the grill at his residence, which was consumed by fireplace.
“He doesn’t deny what occurred … and is taking duty,” Kerstetter stated.
Bernard instructed Aungst that he may have alternatives, whereas in state jail, to take part in drug therapy packages.
“However it’s a must to do the work,” the decide emphasised.
District Lawyer Pete Weeks was happy with the sentence.
“This was a critical act on Mr. Aungst’s half,” Weeks stated. “He burned down his personal home, which threatened the property of his neighbors in addition to the neighbors. And he raided PennDOT’s headquarters.”
Aungst’s sentence requires him to pay $500 to Chris and Bridget Hammel, as reimbursement for his or her insurance coverage deductible. When Aungst was on trial in April, Bridget Hammel instructed the jurors of being woke up through the early morning hours of June 9, 2019, and seeing a fireplace on the left facet of the porch of the Aungst property.
She and her husband and child bought out of their home because the siding was melting, she testified. Whereas Altoona firefighters saved the Hammel residence, Aungst’s home was destroyed.
Police discovered Aungst inside a car at PennDOT district headquarters alongside North Juniata Road in Hollidaysburg. Whereas he labored for PennDOT at the moment, he wasn’t on obligation on the time of the hearth.
Inside his car, police discovered a rosebud torch, a propane tank and an aerosol can. An investigation indicated that the torch was faraway from a PennDOT shed.
Aungst was additionally accused of driving PennDOT automobiles contained in the yard.
Kerstetter requested Bernard to think about a mitigated jail sentence of two.5 years as Aungst’s habits mirrored his methamphetamine use.
“It led to excessive paranoia, outright delusions,” Kerstetter wrote in a sentencing memorandum introduced to the court docket. “Jerret is at core, a kind-hearted, loving particular person.”
Weeks instructed the decide that it turned clear throughout trial that Aungst’s methamphetamine dependancy was a think about his habits and that it is going to be a lifelong battle for him.
For the protection of society, his sentence has to incorporate participation in a drug therapy program, Weeks stated.
Bernard included that amongst an inventory of necessities that require him to chorus from use of unlawful medication, to keep away from overt habits threatening himself or others, to maintain up with a vocation or course of examine and to carry out 100 hours of neighborhood service.
Mirror Employees Author Kay Stephens is at 814-946-7456.