Man gets two years of community control for trying to burn down neighbor’s house


A Delaware man was sentenced last week to two years of community control on a charge of aggravated arson after he attempted to burn his neighbor’s house down in August.

Joseph David Sullivan, 34, of 112 Oak Hill Ave., appeared in Delaware County Common Pleas Court on Nov. 23 to be sentenced on a charge of aggravated arson, a second-degree felony, by Judge David Gormley.

Gormley sentenced Sullivan to two years of community control and said he could face up to 18 months in jail if he violates it. Gormley added that Sullivan will have to register as an arson offender with the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office. He was also ordered to perform 40 hours of community service and pay restitution to his neighbors.

Sullivan was released from the Delaware County Jail after his sentencing.

Sullivan initially pleaded not guilty to a charge of aggravated arson, a second-degree felony; and five counts of aggravated menacing, first-degree misdemeanors, when he was arraigned on Aug. 18. However, on Oct. 20, Sullivan changed his plea to no contest on the arson charge. The five counts of aggravated menacing were dismissed as part of Sullivan’s plea negotiations.

Sullivan was accused of attempting to set his neighbor’s house on fire while 11 people were inside. Delaware police said Sullivan allegedly poured gasoline on the side of his neighbor’s home at 106 Oak Hill Ave. and set it on fire about 7 p.m. Aug. 3. Court documents say the fire only left char marks on the house, which was occupied by five adults and six children.

Police said that Sullivan set the fire because he believed his neighbors had something to do with a stolen guitar.


By Glenn Battishill

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Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @battishillDG.

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