Man sentenced in arson

January 02, 1997


Staff Writer

A 41-year-old man was sentenced in Washington County Circuit Court recently to six years in prison in connection with a 1995 arson fire at a Hagerstown auto upholstery shop.

William Michael Dinenna, who then gave a local motel as his address, was given credit for time he has already served in jail awaiting the Dec. 16 trial.

A civil judgment for nearly $100,000 in damages was also leveled against Dinenna, who entered an Alford plea to the criminal charge of second-degree arson, court records said.


An Alford plea is an acknowledgment that the state has enough evidence to prove guilt without the defendant entering a guilty plea.

In 1995, Hagerstown Fire Marshal Tom Brown said Dinenna was seen by several witnesses on the day before the Aug. 27, 1995 fire, shouting threats to the owner of the building.

The building's owner is the father of Dinenna's ex-girlfriend, Brown said.

Fire and rescue units were called to Neat Trim Auto Upholstering, 422 S. Burhans Blvd., at 10:40 p.m. that night, fire department officials sad.

The one-story, corrugated metal building had also been vandalized, officials said. Orange paint had been splashed on the side of the building.

The fire, which began at the back of the building, burned 20 minutes before fire and rescue units were able to put it out, officials said.

Witnesses described the flames as reaching three to four feet above the roof line.

The owner was uninsured, Brown said.

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