MERCER – A former Sharon resident accused of twice setting fire to a vacant residence near his home pleaded guilty Monday to arson and intimidating a witness charges in Mercer County Court of Common Pleas.
Leonard Michael Frye Sr., 52, of 837 Linden Ave., Brookfield, admitted he set fire twice to the same home and threatened to kill a a potential witness. He also admitted to charges of possession with intent to manufacture or sell marijuana after police found 10 marijuana plants in his home.
In return for admitting his guilt, the commonwealth agreed to a 2- to 5- year prison sentence.
“Ultimately, our goal is to get this gentleman help for a drug addiction,” Assistant District Attorney Andrew Acker told Judge Daniel P. Wallace.
Police and firefighters responded to a fire at 279 Oak Way at 9:29 a.m. Oct. 20, 2018 and again at 3:30 a.m. June 3, according to police reports.
During the first fire Oct. 20, a Hermitage firefighter was injured. An ambulance treated him at the scene for heat exhaustion.
In the June 3 fire, police said the building was engulfed in flames and firefighters deemed it too dangerous to battle the blaze. The house was destroyed.
Both fires were ruled arson.
Frye previously told police that he set both fires because the vacant house was dilapidated and he just couldn’t take looking at it any more.
His sentencing hearing is set for April 30.