A former volunteer firefighter from Parma is headed to federal prison for six years, for six felony counts of setting fires on public land. Clyde Dewayne Holmes Jr., 23, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill to 72 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, plus more than $155,000 in restitution. A jury found Holmes guilty of arson in January; it’s the first federal jury trial, conviction and sentencing of an arsonist on BLM land in Idaho.
The six different fires he set, in July and August of 2007, all were ignited shortly after he got off work; during his trial, physical evidence including tire and boot prints, cell phone records and eyewitness accounts tied him to the fires, which burned 1,200 acres of public and private lands in Payette and Canyon counties. Holmes himself reported two of the blazes, though he didn’t identify himself when he called them in. “This case is especially reprehensible because it involved a deliberate action by a person who was trained and trusted to protect our public lands and our citizens,” said U.S. Attorney Tom Moss.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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