Prison ordered for attempt to burn house on sex offender registration
NEBRASKA CITY – A Nebraska City man was sentenced to prison Monday for starting a fire after bragging he would deal with residents on the Nebraska Sex Offender Registration.
Otoe County Attorney Jennifer Panko-Rahe said 20-year-old Seth Buller went to a residence listed on the registry with intent to harm whoever was living there. She said when his attempt to gain entrance to the residence failed, he started a fire in a garage. Panko-Rahe said investigators found evidence of fuel spread to a work bench and other items in the garage.
He entered a plea to attempted arson and was sentenced Monday to two to eight years with credit for 230 days already served.
Judge Julie Smith said she took Buller’s young age and his clean prior record in his favor, but said the crime was too serious for probation.
In addition to property damage, she said there could have been loss of life.
Smith: “Lighting someone’s house on fire while they are inside sleeping could have gone very badly.”
Defense Attorney Michael Ziskey said he is not aware of the qualifications for state probation’s opinion that Buller is not remorseful. He said Buller wrote a letter of apology, has taken responsibility for actions and is willing to pay restitution. Buller told the judge his actions were uncalled for, unjustified and violent.
Buller, who has a ninth grade education, will be eligible for parole a year minus the 230 days he has already served.