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Man gets jail time for arson

Resident set fire to neighbor's camp

October 24, 2012
By Jenny Lancour - staff writer ( , Daily Press

ESCANABA - A Cornell man who set fire to a neighbor's camp last year was sentenced Tuesday to spend six months in jail. The judgment was handed down in Delta County Circuit Court.

Richard Foy Arbour, 59, was found guilty of arson during a two-day trial in circuit court last month. During his sentencing in circuit court Tuesday, Judge Stephen Davis ordered Arbour to the six-month sentence on one count of arson of real property.

Davis reminded the defendant a jury of his peers found him guilty of the charge "beyond a reasonable doubt." The judge also described the act of arson as "petty revenge and retaliation."

In addition to jail, Davis placed Arbour on probation for 18 months. During that period he is not to have contact with the victim, Tim Kobasic, or Kobasic's family. Arbour was also ordered not to go beyond his northern property line, which borders the Kobasic property.

Arbour has to pay $2,418 in fines and costs.

A restitution hearing will be held at a later date to determine the amount of damages to the camp, added Davis.

Sometime between Oct. 2-3, 2011, Arbour purposely set on fire Kobasic's camp, located next door to his property on North River Road along the Escanaba River. The camp was not insured. A hole was burnt in an exterior wall of the structure, which also suffered smoke damage.

In a victim's statement to the court, Kobasic said his family lost more than what the camp will cost to repair. Kobasic said, because of this "hateful act," his son does not feel safe on the property which used to be an "oasis" for their family.

Prior to sentencing, Arbour made a statement to the court. He said he truly regrets what happened. He also said he feels he has a better handle on life but still has health problems. He asked the court to give him a break.

Davis did not veer from the probation department's presentencing recommendation of six months in jail.



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