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Convicted arsonist seeks early release

The prospects of early release for a man convicted of theft and aggravated arson are dim following a judicial release hearing Wednesday before Logan County Common

Brown Christopher

BROWN

Pleas Court Judge Mark S. O’Connor. Christopher R. Brown, 37, has served a little more than seven years of a stated 10-year prison term for stealing three firearms from an East Liberty area residence and burning thehouse down before he left.

Victims Scott and Audra Coleman appeared in court Wednesday in opposition to any early release. In a letter to the court, Mr. Coleman said he believed the act of setting his house on fire was premeditated, citing the fact the defendant brought with him a container full of gasoline.

“It was an icy morning, Jan. 18, 2006, when Christopher Brown drove from Russells Point on ice-covered roads, broke into our house, stole three guns and set the house on fire before he left,” Mr. Coleman said.

“Our sense of security has never been restored.” Mr. Coleman said he and his wife were forced to rent a room from a friend and live in a camper for most of 2006 while they rebuilt their house.

“Christopher Brown is a violent criminal and a danger to society and we’d like to see him in prison for the rest of his life,” Mr. Coleman said.

Prosecutors also oppose early release, citing the defendant’s lengthy criminal history not just in Logan, but in other counties including Ross and Butler as well. This current prison term is the defendant’s third.

“He has not been amenable to any community control sanctions,” Chief Assistant Prosecutor Eric Stewart said.

Judge O’Connor noted an extensive disciplinary record, which has included additional felonies since he’s been in prison.

However, judgment on the matter was reserved pending defense counsel’s submission of additional materials to the court including Mr. Brown’s plans if released.

“I haven’t had a chance yet to discuss those matters with Mr. Brown,” defense attorney Mr. Triplett said.

Judge O’Connor, because, “the defendant is entitled to a full hearing,” permitted Mr. Triplett another week to submit any additional information.

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