Toms River arson defendant given 7-year sentence
The Toms River defendant who admitted setting fire to a both ends of a house while occupants were inside in mid-2016 is sentenced to seven years in a state prison.
John Fischer V, 27, was sentenced February 3, and is subject to New Jersey's No Early Release Act for his guilty plea to a second-degree charge of aggravated arson, according to the office of Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato.
According to sources with knowledge of the investigation, the Camino Roble house was occupied by Fischer's former girlfriend, and her new boyfriend, when the fire was reported at 12:25 AM on September 6, 2016.
Prior to the fire, Fischer had been suspected of harassing the woman, a source said.
Toms River police and Pleasant Plains Fire Department volunteers arrrived to find the rear of the house in flames, and used a fire extinguisher to squelch a blaze at the front door.
Township and County investigators determined that the fire was intentional. Fischer was apprehended later the same day, and held on $75,000 full bail.
Convictions for second-degree charges customarily carry terms of five to 10 years. Guilty pleas alter the time frames. Prosecutors sought eight years, arguing that Fischer placed victims at risk of death or injury.
The No Early Release clause stipulates that Fischer serve 85 percent, or one month shy of six years, before parole consideration.