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Hagerstown man agrees to plea deal in arson case

October 30, 2008|By HEATHER KEELS

HAGERSTOWN -- A Hagerstown man accused of setting a fire in his apartment Oct. 1 to "do himself in" was sentenced to probation Wednesday in Washington County District Court as part of a plea agreement in which a first-degree arson charge was dropped.

Roy Allen Sisk II, 35, of 159 S. Potomac St., Apt. 3, pleaded guilty to second-degree malicious burning and one count of second-degree assault. Prosecutors dropped the other charges against him, which included obstructing firefighters and another count of second-degree assault.

Judge Janice Rodnick Ambrose sentenced Sisk to 18 months in the Washington County Detention Center on each charge, suspended all but 27 days of the sentence and gave Sisk credit for 27 days served.

Sisk will be on supervised probation for 24 months and must abstain from alcohol and drugs, and complete substance abuse and psychological evaluations, testing and treatment, Ambrose said.

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"This is to address whatever problems you have, because this behavior is really bizarre," Ambrose said.

When firefighters responded to the fire, which started at about 7 p.m. in Sisk's second-floor apartment, they saw Sisk in the window and raised a ladder to attempt to rescue him, Hagerstown Fire Marshal Douglas DeHaven wrote in charging documents. Sisk grabbed the ladder and attempted to push it over with the firefighter still on it, DeHaven wrote.

Another firefighter forced his way into the locked apartment and attempted to lead Sisk out, but Sisk kicked the firefighter repeatedly, DeHaven wrote. Firefighters eventually removed Sisk from the apartment and Hagerstown Police took him to Washington County Hospital, DeHaven wrote.

Investigators ruled out all accidental causes for the fire and determined it started at the foot of a bed, where a cigarette lighter was found in the debris, DeHaven wrote. Sisk told investigators he started the fire with the lighter intentionally to "do himself in," DeHaven wrote.

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