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Published: Monday, 11/24/2008

Second Balderama brother sentenced for killing father

Matthew Balderama Matthew Balderama

FREMONT Sandusky County Common Pleas Judge Harry Sargeant Jr. sentenced Matthew Balderama this morning to nine years in prison for his role in the Aug. 23 house fire that killed his father, George Balderama, who also helped set the fire.

Matthew Balderama, 25, of Fremont, pleaded guilty Nov. 10 to five counts of complicity to commit aggravated arson in exchange for his recommended nine-year prison sentence.

Judge Sargeant said the convicted felon will be eligible for post release control in five years, but Assistant Prosecutor John Kolesar said he most likely would be opposed to Matthew Balderama s early release.

Matthew Balderama and his brother, Ian, helped set the Carbon Street house fire at his own home.

Authorities said the brothers and their father, who were all intoxicated the night of the fire, were angry with the brothers cousin, Brian McCoy, who lived in the basement of their home, and decided to the basement on fire.

The fire, fueled by gasoline, spread quickly throughout the house and killed George Balderama, who died of smoke inhalation.

Ian Balderama, 24, pleaded guilty Friday to involuntary manslaughter and aggravated arson charges and was sentenced to a total of 14 years in prison.

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