Woman who attempted arson sentenced to state prison

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 February 2015 at 12:00 am

ALBION – An Albion woman who could have been sentenced to a maximum of 15 years in state prison for attempted arson was given the minimum of 2 ¼ to 4 ½ years behind bars on Monday.

Crystal McGuire, 22, of West Lee Road admitted in a previous court appearance she set a fire inside the dryer of a house on Beaver Street on Aug. 16, 2013. She told Orleans County Court Judge James Punch she knew there was at least one person inside when she started the fire.

McGuire was a victim of domestic violence and her abuser was inside the home, McGuire’s attorney Matthew Nafus said during her sentencing on Monday.

“She overreacted by trying to set the house on fire,” Nafus said.

No one was injured from the fire, he noted. McGuire also suffers from a developmental disability, and emotional, cognitive and mental health disorders, Nafus said.

He asked the judge to not give McGuire a long sentence in prison.

Judge Punch said McGuire clearly was in an abusive relationship. He would have preferred to sentence McGuire to time in jail, instead of state prison, and also line up help and support for her, “but the statute doesn’t allow for that.”

Punch gave her the minimum sentence of 2 ½ to 4 ½ years in state prison. The maximum sentence would have been 3 ½ to 15 years in prison.