September 19, 2014

Medina
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Arsonist placed on state registry

Davon Phillips

Davon Phillips

MEDINA — A 19-year-old Medina man on Thursday became the first person placed on Ohio’s arson registry by a Medina County judge.

County Common Pleas Judge James L. Kimbler placed Davon L. Phillips on three years’ probation on Thursday for setting fire to Medina High School’s Performing Arts Center in June.

Phillips, of the 300 block of West Friendship Street, changed his plea to guilty of arson in March as part of a deal with prosecutors that reduced the severity of his charges. Arson is punishable by up to three years in prison.

In addition to his probation, he was ordered to register as an arsonist every year for the rest of his life.

The arson registry, which became law in December 2012 and went into effect July 1, is similar to Ohio’s sex offender registry. It tracks addresses and fingerprints of anybody convicted of arson or who had arson charges dropped or reduced as part of a plea deal.

Unlike the sex offender registry, the arson registry is not open to the public. It is for investigators only.

Phillips will have to pay $50 for the initial registration and $25 every year for re-registration. Failure to register may land him additional felony charges.

Police said Phillips, who graduated from Medina High School last year, was a custodial worker at the Performing Arts Center as part of a work experience program sponsored by Medina County Workforce Development and Job and Family Services.

The fire caused about $203,000 in damages, school officials said. Medina Schools met the deductible, and insurance paid for the rest.

Costs included damage to draperies, cleaning, painting and deodorizing.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.