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The Progress Home >> Friday, April 19, 2013 - Bellefonte man sentenced for arson

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Bellefonte man sentenced for arson
Friday, April 19, 2013
BELLEFONTE - Jeffrey E. Karg of Bellefonte was sentenced yesterday to 4½-30 years' incarceration in a State Correctional Facility and ordered to pay more than $130,000 in restitution by the Honorable Bradley Lunsford in the Centre County Court of Common Pleas.
On March 15, after a 30-minute deliberation, a Centre County jury found Karg guilty of four felony counts of arson-endangering firefighters, a felony of the first degree; arson- endangering property, felony of the second degree; reckless burning, felony of the third degree; and criminal mischief, felony of the third degree.
Karg was charged with deliberately setting a fire that destroyed a storage facility and a delivery truck behind Mattress World and the Dollar General in Bellefonte, during the early morning hours of Sept. 24, 2012, causing more than $130,000 in damage to the building and a delivery truck that were completely destroyed.
After the investigation, the state police fire marshal determined the blaze to be arson, as accelerant was found on the scene, poured from the storage facility in a trail to the back of the building and onto the back door of Mattress World. Karg was found a few blocks from the blaze with white paint on his shoes, consistent with fresh paint and footprints found at the scene.
Karg admitted involvement to authorities and a state police K-9 alerted to the presence of accelerant on his shoes. The defendant created a hazardous and potentially fatal scene for responding firefighters, who had to deal not only with the fire itself, but downed power lines and the burning diesel delivery truck. Firefighters answered the call and actively fought the fire in order to prevent it from spreading to neighboring buildings on the block.
At sentencing the court agreed with the commonwealth that Karg's actions deliberately placed multiple firefighters in danger, he intended for the fire to spread to surrounding buildings. Also, due to the vast extent of loss and Karg's lack of remorse, an aggravated state sentence was appropriate. The commonwealth also argued that Karg is not amenable to rehabilitative efforts, as he has racked up 20 misconducts during his stay at the Centre County Correctional Facility and but for the firefighters efforts, this fire could have consumed the entire block.
District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller stated, "We are pleased that the court saw this for what it was. An extremely dangerous fire planned and perpetrated by a criminal, callous to those he placed in danger or the trail of ash and ruin he left behind."
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