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Arsonist-for-hire gets 3-year prison sentence

A Toledo man who was hired to set a house on fire was sentenced to three years in prison Wednesday after he pleaded no contest to aggravated arson.

Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Gene Zmuda found Malcolm Richardson, 50, who listed the Cherry Street Mission as his address, guilty and immediately sentenced him to the agreed-upon term.

Prosecutors said Richardson was paid $200 by Stephen Gibbs and Savannah Bibbs to set fire Sept. 29 to a house at 624 Pinewood Ave. for insurance purposes. He went into the house when no one was home and ignited a gasoline-filled soft-drink bottle in a bedroom closet.

At a previous hearing before Judge Stacy Cook, Bibbs, 22, was convicted of arson and sentenced to two years in prison. Gibbs, 40, was convicted of complicity to arson and placed in the county work release program for six months and on community control for three years.

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