No prison for arsonist
April 1, 2014
The 29-year-old Carroll man who started a fire in his neighbor's apartment in 2012 was sentenced Monday to five years of probation - in lieu of prison - and ordered to undergo drug-abuse evaluation and treatment, according to court documents.
Joshua Norbert Renze, accused of setting a series of fires near his apartment in the 200 block of Main Street over the course of a year, pleaded guilty in February to felony arson, and County Attorney Werden agreed to drop two related misdemeanor charges for reckless use of fire.
Renze was arrested in October after he allegedly ignited a rag and garbage can and tossed them out of his apartment, which set fire to a couch. Then, two hours later, he allegedly tossed a fiery rag out of his apartment window into a trash bin.
Carroll firefighters previously responded to trash bin fires in that area in June 2012 and April 2013, although it's unclear whether Renze was involved.
No one was injured in the fires, but the 2012 apartment fire - in which Renze allegedly ignited a rag and put it on the living-room floor of a neighbor's apartment - caused substantial damage to the apartment.
Renze underwent a court-ordered substance abuse assessment in November, court records show, but the details of that assessment are not publicly available.
Renze must abide the terms of his probation or face the prison penalty of his felony conviction - up to 10 years.
He was also ordered to pay $1,773 of restitution.
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