OLNEY, Va. (delmarvanow.com) -- A former Onley, Virginia, firefighter who said boredom was the reason he set fire to a truck in February in 2016 will spend 30 days in jail.
Brandon Travis Haynes, 21, was sentenced in an Accomack County court.
Haynes had pleaded guilty to arson of personal property, a felony, in January in connection with a fire on a 1999 Freightline truck.
According to testimony in court, Haynes was unemployed and living at the fire station when he called 911 to report the fire. His voice was recognized by the 911 dispatcher, though he denied making the call.
He reported a vehicle fire at the intersection of Stonehouse Road and Locustville Road. The truck belonged to house mover Antonio Logan who used it in his business.
At an interview with arson investigator Special Agent Glen Neal, Haynes first denied knowing anything about the fire, but later admitted it was he who set it.
Fire Chief Chris Davis said at the time there was an unusually large number of fire-related incidents during the winter of 2015-2016. Once it was noticed that the Onley fire company was responding to more suspicious fires than usual, the Virginia State Police was notified.
In an email to the media, Davis said, ”There were not as many calls as he wanted so he set the fire.”
“He has no criminal record,” said defense attorney Nicole Belote at the sentencing.
She said there were only a few blips on his radar.
“He has been punished enough with a felony conviction and the fact he will never be a firefighter, a lifelong dream,” she told the court.
Commonwealth Attorney Spencer Morgan said the blips on the radar were reckless driving and charges for speeding.
“He said he was bored and missed the adrenaline rush of a call,” Morgan told the court.
“This was a lapse in judgment,” said Judge W. Revell Lewis III. “Sometimes responses create additional hazards. I believe some jail time is appropriate.”
He sentenced Haynes to five years and suspended all but 30 days. He ordered him to be on supervised probation for two years after his release, or until the $10,000 in restitution to Antonio Logan has been paid.