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Sentencing for arsonist firefighter postponed

July 7th, 2015 by WCBC Radio

A sentencing hearing scheduled for Tuesday afternoon for a former Baltimore Pike volunteer firefighter charged in a series of arson cases was postponed until Friday at 1 p.m. The Cumberland Times News reports the hearing for Patrick Levi Kneisley, 24, of Cumberland was continued after Michael O. Twigg, Allegany County state’s attorney, asked for more time to determine restitution amounts from several victims of the arsons. Kneisley pleaded guilty June 4 to felony counts of second-degree arson and first-degree malicious burning as well as second-degree malicious burning and malicious destruction of property.

Allegany County Circuit Court Judge W. Timothy Finan agreed to move the hearing back to accommodate the request, to which the defense attorney did not object.

Kneisley, who was in the courtroom Tuesday, remains incarcerated in the Allegany County Detention Center and is represented by David Schram.

The second-degree arson charge carries a possible sentence of up to 20 years; first-degree malicious burning a maximum of five years; malicious destruction of property, up to three years; and second-degree malicious burning, a maximum of 18 months. The maximum amount of time for which Kneisley could be sentenced is 29.5 years. Kneisley was indicted on 24 counts, including arson and other charges, on Jan. 28 by a grand jury.

Kneisley was a suspect in earlier fires when he was arrested and charged with arson for using a lighter to start two fires Dec. 3 on East Roberts Street at 12:48 a.m. and a vehicle fire in the 1000 block of Lexington Avenue at 2:34 a.m.

After his arrest, Kneisley confessed to setting fires on five occasions, Deputy State Fire Marshal John Ray has previously said. Kneisley also said he started some of the fires while under the influence of alcohol. The dates of the earlier fires were Oct. 1, 13 and 26.

During the Oct. 1 fire, he used an ignited piece of paper to start a vehicle fire in the 300 block of North Centre Street, according to Michael O. Twigg, Allegany County state’s attorney. That fire caused $8,000 in damages to the vehicle.

Tuesday’s hearing took place in Circuit Court in the Allegany County Courthouse on Washington Street.

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