New Florence man gets house arrest for setting fire in apartment building
A New Florence man will serve three months on house arrest for using his girlfriend’s sweatpants to set fire in her apartment last year.
William Teeter, 21, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one felony count of risking catastrophe in connection with a fire set in St. Clair Manor apartment during a domestic dispute in January 2018.
Police said Teeter struck a woman with a cell phone, then ran upstairs and set fire to her pants and left them to smolder atop a bed comforter and plastic bag.
Five people were inside the apartment building at the time of the fire but were not injured, police said.
Westmoreland County prosecutors dismissed charges of arson, simple assault and reckless endangerment as part of the plea bargain.
Teeter’s guilty plea came just before jury selection was set to begin for his trial.
In addition to the house arrest, Common Pleas Court Judge Meagan Bilik-DeFazio sentenced Teeter to serve two years on probation and to complete emotions management counseling and drug and alcohol treatment if needed.
Teeter is barred from entering St. Clair Manor during his probation period.
Assistant District Attorney Leo Ciaramitaro said the decision to drop the more serious charges and recommend probation and house arrest was because Teeter had no prior criminal record.
“This is an appropriate resolution after speaking with the victim,” Ciaramitaro said.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .