Man sentenced for setting porch fire

A 22-year-old city man who set fire to his back porch after a drunken argument with family members was sentenced to four years probation Tuesday after pleading guilty to risking a catastrophe. In exchange for his guilty plea, all remaining charges – including three counts of arson – were dismissed.

The Dec. 5, 2013, blaze was started by Coty Andrew Boutwell, who has a criminal history of intentionally setting fires. Boutwell received his first arson conviction at the age of 11, according to Assistant District Attorney Anthony Louis Ciuca. At age 15, Boutwell was convicted of criminal conspiracy and providing false identification.

Boutwell told Judge Marc F. Lovecchio he never would have set his porch on fire if he hadn’t been drunk.

“We’ve all done stupid things when we drink but I can’t saw we’ve all set back porches on fire,” Lovecchio replied.

After the porch fire, Boutwell’s family was forced to find new housing, he told the judge.

“People had to move out because the water was turned off,” Boutwell said.

Diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder as a juvinile, Boutwell said he is not presently being treated for mental health problems.

Lovecchio ordered Boutwell to undergo mental health and drug and alcohol evaluations.

“I’m having you do a mental health assessment not as a punishment but to see if there’s any extra help you need,” Lovecchio told Boutwell.

Boutwell also must submit a DNA sample and obtain his GED as conditions of his supervision, Lovecchio ordered.