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Owings Mills man sentenced to work-release for arson


An Owings Mills man has received an 18-month work-release sentence for two arsons in August, admitting in a plea bargain that he also had set about 20 other unsolved fires in the community since 1990.

William Frederick Moore, 28, a painter who lives in the first block of Wengate Road, pleaded guilty Thursday in Baltimore County Circuit Court to first-degree arson at a dwelling in the 100 block of Ritter Lane and second-degree arson at the W. D. Groff and Son fuel and feed business in the 10600 block of Reisterstown Road.

Damage to the vacant house was minimal, said Assistant State's Attorney A. Dean Stocksdale, but there was about $250,000 in damage to the fuel and feed business housed in one of the original mill buildings of Samuel Owings, for whom the area is named.

Mr. Stocksdale asked Judge Lawrence R. Daniels to impose a six-year sentence. Assistant Public Defender A. Stewart Lyons noted his client's cooperation and lack of a criminal record in seeking lighter punishment.

The judge ordered psychiatric treatment and drug and alcohol rehabilitation for Moore.

Though police and fire investigators suspected Moore in the fires, most of them in sheds and other outbuildings, Mr. Stocksdale said there was no evidence against him until a fingerprint was found on a gasoline hose nozzle at the feed business.

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