Former Ind. firefighter avoids prison time on 3 counts of arson

Jake Dougherty was pulled over by police in June 2020 after starting work for the Whiteland Fire Department in February

By Leila Merrill

INDIANAPOLIS — A former firefighter pleaded guilty to three felony counts of arson and will avoid prison time, WTHR reported.

Franklin police officers pulled over Jake Dougherty on June 17, 2020, said he was impaired and that they smelled gasoline in his car and saw soot on his clothing.

Dougherty worked as a firefighter for the Whiteland Fire Department, and joined the department on Feb. 1, 2020, the Indianapolis Star reported. He was initially placed on a five-day suspension.

No one was hurt in the three structure fires, which were reported on a single day.

Dougherty faced 6 to 36 years in prison, but the judge sentenced him to 12 years with 10 years of that on work release and two years of probation. He  also received credit for time served.

Dougherty’s sentence includes paying $151,472.26 to home builder companies associated with the arson sites.

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