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Schwab indicted on charge of arson for torching home
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Found competent to stand trial, a man who tried to burn up his hosts when he torched their house last summer has been indicted on the charge of aggravated arson.
The suspect, William Frances Schwab, 62, was indicted by the grand jury on the charge of aggravated arson, a felony that could cost him anywhere between 15 and 60 years in jail depending on his prior criminal record.
Schwab’s case has been in limbo for many months as he was undergoing a mental evaluation. Mental health experts found him to be sane and able to face trial.
“Mr. Schwab has sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding as well as a factual understanding of the proceedings against him,” wrote clinical psychologist Dr. Sandra Mott Phillips, noting she strongly suggests he continue taking his mental medications to maintain his competency. “It is my opinion Mr. Schwab’s severe mental disease did not render him unable to appreciate the wrongfulness of the alleged offense.”
His charges come after he set the home at 191 Guthrie Road near Dibrell afire one night this past July. The house belonged to Scott Bell and Kimberly Hennessee, who were allowing Schwab to live in their home.
“He said he was mad at them because they were taking advantage of him financially,” revealed sheriff’s investigator Kevin Murphy of Schwab’s statement to him.
The trailer was destroyed by the blaze. The North Warren Fire Department was summoned to the scene and was told there was someone trapped inside the burning house. They were unable to find any trace of Schwab, who Bell had tried to find inside the blaze.
“Scott Bell went back into the house to look for William Schwab and received a burn to his back,” Murphy said, noting Bell didn’t know at that time Schwab had left the trailer. He also didn’t realize it was Schwab who had torched his home and left them to burn as they slept.