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Ex-Babbitt fire chief sentenced for setting fires

April 10, 2014
Associated Press

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — A former fire chief from northeastern Minnesota has been sentenced for setting fires in Superior National Forest.

U.S. District Judge John Tunheim Thursday sentenced 30-year-old Ryan Scharber to a year in federal prison for setting fire to U.S. forest land and five years for attempted arson. The sentences will be served at the same time.

Scharber also was ordered to pay $27,140 in restitution for the cost of fighting the fires he set.

Scharber is former chief of the Babbitt Volunteer Fire Department. He pleaded guilty in November, admitting he set multiple fires in Superior National Forest and tried to set a fire at a Babbitt resort.

A prosecutor said a psychiatrist diagnosed Scharber as a pyromaniac. The defense argued for a lesser sentence, saying Scharber has cooperated with investigators.



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