Franklin Countys First News

Man pleads guilty to criminal mischief for role in Jay blaze

Devin Penney (Photo courtesy of Franklin County Detention Center)

FARMINGTON - A Jay man pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors Tuesday afternoon, in relation to a fire that damaged a garage and attached residence in August 2017.

Devin Penney, 22 of Jay, pleaded guilty to domestic violence reckless conduct and criminal mischief, both misdemeanors, in relation to the Aug. 9, 2017 blaze. He will receive credit for the five months he's already spent in jail and face two, year-long probation periods that will be served consecutively. Charges of arson and aggravated criminal mischief were both dismissed.

First responders were drawn to a garage at 229 Intervale Road in the early morning hours of Aug. 9, 2017 after receiving a report of a structure fire just before 12:30 a.m. Police and firefighters with Jay's local departments discovered a fire in the garage's basement and quickly extinguished it, resulting in minimum damage and moderate smoke damage to the garage and attached residence. No one was hurt as a result of the fire.

A State Fire Marshal's Office investigation indicated that Penney was located in the immediate area and advised that he had started the fire. The building was owned by Penney's mother, Sabrina Penney, who resided at the home with herself and other three children. Sabrina Penney contacted 9-1-1.

The reckless conduct charge stems from Penney "recklessly creat[ing] a substantial risk of serious bodily injury to Sabrina Penney." The criminal mischief charge relates to Penney destroying the property of Sabrina Penney, specifically a floor damaged in the fire.

In court Tuesday, attorneys indicated that Penney had been dealing with mental health issues and was now doing better on medication. Terms of Penney's probation include following the advice of his medical provider and taking all medication as prescribed, with Sabrina Penney to oversee the administration of the medication. Penney is also barred from possessing alcohol and illegal drugs. He is required to live with Sabrina Penney unless directed otherwise by a probation officer.

Penney had no record prior to the fire.

The arranged sentence includes a 364-day jail sentence on the reckless conduct charge, with all but five months suspended. That will match the amount of time that Penney has spent in jail since the incident occurred. Following his release, Penney will be on probation for one year.

Penney will serve an 180-day sentence, entirely suspended, on the criminal mischief charge. That sentence will carry a one-year period of probation, and will be served consecutive to the previous sentence.

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5 Responses »

  1. "Penney will serve an 180-day sentence, entirely suspended, on the criminal mischief charge" is it Penney will serve this sentence????

  2. Why not just find work and stay out of trouble...

  3. This is NOT someone who would be on the streets. This person is unstable.

  4. AND a DOMESTIC VIOLENCE charge??? Wow. So glad justice was served.

  5. This is just another ridiculous sentence handed down in the Farmington court. Lives were put at risk and this guy walks away with a smile.