Plea deal reached in Coatesville arson case

WEST CHESTER, Pa. (AP) - November 19, 2009

Chester County Judge Anthony Sarcione says the plea deal for Robert Tracey Jr. is a surprise. The 37-year-old Coatesville man got a sentence of the 242 days he has already served to 23 months in prison. Sarcione says he would never consider such a short sentence Tracey had been convicted at trial. But Sarcione approved the deal Thursday after both sides referred to the risk of going to trial.

Tracey admitted setting fire to a porch seat cushion in March, then trying to ignite a trash can three blocks away.

Tracey is one of seven suspects arrested in connection with a rash of fires in Coatesville and nearby communities that began in February 2008.

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