MERCER – A Sharon man pleaded no contest Monday to charges stemming from the burglary and arson last year of a house on South Oakland Avenue.
David Anthony Matlock, 34, was accused of climbing with an unidentified juvenile through an open window at 7:12 p.m. Aug. 12, at 727 S. Oakland Ave. in Sharon. Police said he stole electronics from the residence, set the house on fire and ran away.
Matlock pleaded no contest to arson and burglary, both felonies, Monday before Judge Daniel Wallace. Matlock is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 2
On Monday, Mercer County Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Lauderbaugh summarized testimony that would have been heard if the case had gone to trial.
Sharon police said Matlock stole a 55-inch TV, a gaming system and games, a large tent, card table, chairs, umbrella, chainsaw and a large box of gelatin packets.
Less than a week after the fire, Aaron Williams, the homeowner, shared video surveillance with Sharon detectives. That video showed two people inside the house just before the fire.
Williams identified the man as Matlock, and Sharon detective Sgt. Ryan Chmura said in a report that he recognized Matlock from prior encounters.
Police said the video images showed the juvenile rummaging through items and Matlock can be heard saying, “take that” to the minor. Matlock then orders the juvenile to light the house on fire.
If the case had gone to trial, Lauderbaugh said the juvenile would have testified that he broke into the house with Matlock, who wanted the minor to help steal drugs and money he thought were inside the home.
More than 20 firefighters from Sharon, Farrell, Hermitage and Brookfield responded to the fire that caused extensive damage to the house.
No one was hurt in the fire. A family dog was tied up outside and Williams was at work when he found out about the fire. Williams had no insurance on the house.
Matlock is set to be sentenced Aug. 2.
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