AFTON – Two men pleaded guilty Monday to breaking into a home and impulsively lighting it on fire while they were intoxicated, stealing an air conditioner as they left and leaving the two-story house to burn to the ground.
The Chenango County Sheriff’s Office arrested 25-year-old Eric A. Nelson and 21-year-old Felix J. Hartman both of Afton, June 4 and charged them with second degree burglary and third degree arson, both class C felonies.
The Afton, Coventry, Bainbridge and Harpursville Fire Departments responded to the fire at around 3:45 a.m. May 31 at 331 State Highway 41, but the blaze completely destroyed the home.
Appearing before Chenango County Court Judge W. Howard Sullivan Monday, the men admitted breaking into the house, which they said they thought was uninhabited, through a sliding glass door.
Nelson pleaded guilty to third degree burglary, a D felony, saying he entered the home in search of valuables. He was sentenced to one and a half to four and a half years in state prison.