SIDNEY — Ralph Chadwell Jr., 57, appeared in Shelby County Common Pleas Court last week to be sentenced.
Chadwell had originally been charged with one count of aggravated arson, a second degree felony, and a jury had convened to hear his case in October. The charge stemmed from the March 4 fire that took place at his home, 899 Hayes St., in Sidney.
In the afternoon of the first day of the trial, a plea agreement was reached and Chadwell pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of one count of attempted vandalism, a first degree misdemeanor.
Shelby County Prosecutor Tim Sell said in his statement to the judge that the agreement was reached because of changes in witness behavior. The judge ordered he be released on his own recognizance. He was also asked not to contact the witnesses in the case.
When Chadwell appeared in court last week he was sentenced to 120 days in the Shelby County Jail. He was also given 85 days of credit for time he served prior to the trial.
According to court records it was further ordered that the sentence would be suspended on the condition that all costs are paid within 60 days.
His sentence includes the cost of prosecution and if he doesn’t pay in a timely manner or on the payment schedule set by the court, he may have to serve up to 40 hours of community service a month until judgment is paid or the court is satisfied.
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