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Published: Thursday, 6/11/2009

Arsonist faces 30 years in prison after entering plea

BLADE STAFF

A Toledo man charged with setting fires to 11 vacant homes for what authorities believed was the thrill of watching them burn, entered a plea in Lucas County Common Pleas Court Thursday.

Allen Quintanilla, 18, of 219 Eastern Ave., pleaded no contest to three counts of aggravated arson. He was originally charged with 11 counts each of breaking and entering, arson, and aggravated arson. The remaining charges will be dismissed at his sentencing.

Assistant County Prosecutor Robert Clark said that Quintanilla entered pleas on the three cases that involved firefighters being injured while battling the blazes. He added that in each case the firemen were treated and released.

Specifically, Quintanilla was found guilty of setting fires at 411 Courtland Ave. on Feb. 26, at 239 Sumner St. on March 24, and at 404 Western Ave. on March 26.

Quintanilla was arrested in March, shortly after he was seen sifting through the rubble of one of the homes. Police said he confessed to setting the fires and that he often returned to the scene to watch them burn or to watch firefighters attempts to extinguish the blaze.

The 11 fires took place been Dec. 15 and March 28.

He faces up to 30 years in prison when sentenced by Judge James Bates on July 7.



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