Convicted Pennsylvania man 5 to 10 years for criminal charges

by | Nov 24, 2014 | Criminal Defense

Those suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts may be incapable of accurately interpreting their current situation. Instead, they may embark on a course of action that they would otherwise never consider when they are feeling emotionally sound. Unfortunately, one Pennsylvania man wound up facing criminal charges after he allegedly sought to commit suicide.

Last October, the 48-year-old man purportedly was deeply distressed over the dissolution of his marriage and losing custody of his children. He was also struggling with his lack of steady employment after having sought treatment for an addiction. A few days prior to Oct. 12, he supposedly attempted to commit suicide by cutting his wrists.

After surviving his first attempt, the man was reportedly prompted to try again after viewing a program on the Hindenburg disaster. He apparently told Pennsylvania authorities that he broke a gas line in his basement and waited for a spark to ignite the vapor. He then took a nap and upon awakening, discovered the gas had not ignited. He light a cigarette and the vapor exploded, destroying his house.

The suicide attempt caused damage to several surrounding homes and caused minor injuries to some of his neighbors. He survived the blast and was still recovering from his wounds when he appeared in court earlier this month. He was facing criminal charges of arson, reckless endangerment, criminal mischief and several other offenses. For reasons that he likely discussed with his defense team, this man chose to plead guilty to the charges, and he was immediately sentenced to serve up to 10 years in prison. This man could have opted to exercise his right to fight the charges against him, though he appears to have reached the conclusion that a negotiated plea agreement offered him a result preferable to the consequences that may have awaited him had he been found guilty after trial.

Source:, “Pennsylvania man inspired by Hindenburg sentenced to 5 to 10 years in prison for house blast“, Joe Mandak, Nov. 18, 2014