Arsonist chooses when to serve jail time


By Meladi Brewer

GREENVILLE — Trevor Harrison sentenced on five counts of Arson. Judge Travis L. Fleihman presided.

Harrison, 24, of Greenville was sentenced for arson in connection to a barn fire that happened in 2022. Darke County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a vacant property on Moore Miller Road in reference to a breaking and entering.

Four people were trespassing on the property and set a fire in the backyard before fleeing. Deputies found no evidence of the break-in, according to Detective Rachael Prickett, Darke County Sheriff’s Office.

Harrison had been arrested in connection to the incident on New Year’s Eve. An investigation revealed that Harrison was a member of a local fire department cadet program at the time of the fires, and as a result of his sentencing, he will no longer be permitted to enter a fire department program.

“Mr. Harrison fell into the mental state where individuals who are involved with fire fighting become enamored by the fire itself,” Defense Attorney Randall Breaden said.

He said Harrison got caught up in that process with other people involved, but he has no prior criminal record, it is his first offense, and he is employed.

“Anything we do, if it involves local jail time, I would ask that it be done on a work release system, so he can stay employed,” Breaden said.

Harrion is a low risk candidate without a drug addiction. Breaden said he believed Harrison just got caught up in the moment and understands the seriousness in which his actions occurred.

The court acknowledged all the defense attorney statements, and confirmed the defendant had been compliant with pre-trial supervision. Harrison told the court he did not want jail time, but understands what he did was wrong.

“I 100 percent get that and feel bad for it,” Harrison said. “I’ve been trying to do better, it ain’t going to happen again, I don’t plan on getting in trouble any time soon or any time at all, and I’m just going to do what I have to do.”

Harrison said he does not ever want to be back in the courtroom sitting in front of the judge. Understanding the court has to follow guidelines and regulations, Harrison said if there is a chance, he would prefer probation over jail time to “prove to everyone he is not going to get into trouble again.”

Judge Fliehman told Harrison he is right that there are certain principles and purposes he does have to follow.

“It isn’t a matter of what I want to do, it’s about the limitations of what I can do,” Judge Fliehman said.

Harrison was sentenced to community control of 24 months up to 60 months. He was also sentenced to 180 days with 160 days suspended, meaning he will be required to serve 20 days before Dec. 31, 2023.

“How you serve those days is up to you,” Judge Fliehman said. “I have no intention of causing you employment issues, so if you decide you want to serve that five weekends with two days each weekend, you can.”

He told Harrison the 20 days have to be served before the end of the year is up and to work a schedule out with his employer and probation. He will be able to self report to the jail, and Harrison will also be required to complete 100 hours of community service and file as an arson offender for the rest of his life.

If Harrison fails to comply with any of the terms and conditions, he could face six to 18 months in prison for each count of arson.

“I’m making you aware of that because it’s still looming out there if you decide not to play nice in the sandbox with our adult probation department,” Judge Fliehman said.

To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected].

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