ASHTABULA — A 38-year-old Ashtabula man accused of setting fire to the home of his child’s mother has pleaded guilty to arson, a fourth-degree felony, with a stipulated 12 months in prison, Ashtabula County Prosecutor Nicholas Iarocci said Monday.
Abe C. Wilson, of 2521 South Ridge Road W., was charged with aggravated arson, a second-degree felony; two counts of burglary, both second-degree felonies; and arson, a fourth-degree felony, after firefighters were called last March to 719 Bunker Hill Road.
When firefighters arrived, they discovered fire and smoke in an upstairs bedroom and evidence the home had been burglarized, according to the Ashtabula Fire Department report.
A jury trial was set for today, but Wilson agreed to a plea negotiation with the 12 months in prison stipulation, but a pre-sentence investigation has been ordered by Common Pleas Judge Thomas Harris to determine the amount of restitution, Iarocci said.
Iarocci said there is a history of a contentious relationship between Wilson and his child’s mother.
“Video surveillance and cell phone tower data evidence, among other evidence, allegedly demonstrate that Wilson was near the residence immediately prior to it being set on fire,” he said. “Wilson had no reason to be near the residence at the time.”
Ashtabula Fire Capt. Stephen Chase ruled the fire an arson but would not comment on the case until after sentencing for restitution hearing, which is expected to occur within the next few weeks.
The fire severely damaged the home, making it uninhabitable, Chase said at the time.
Wilson hired Ashtabula attorney William Bobulsky to represent him. Bobulsky could not be reached for comment Monday.
According to Common Pleas Court records, Wilson has past criminal convictions, including possession of methamphetamine and possession of illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs.