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Probation granted in Tama arsons

December 28, 2012
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Suspended prison and jail time has been granted Justin Lee Anderson, 18, Tama, on five counts of arson. The sentences were handed down on Dec. 14 by Judge Fae Hoover-Grinde in Tama County District Court in Toledo. He has been placed on probation to the 6th Judicial District Department of Correctional Services for three years.

Anderson pled guilty on Sept. 27 to three charges of 2nd degree arson and two charges of 3rd degree arson in connection with a series of fires which occurred in March, April and May of this year in the rural Tama area.

Anderson, a member of the Tama Volunteer Fire Department at the time is the son of Tama Fire Chief Rodney Anderson.

Article Photos

Justin Lee Anderson

Joshua Robert Weiermann, 18, Chelsea, also faces two counts of 2nd degree and one count of 3rd degree arson in connection with some of the cases. Weiermann is a member of the Chelsea Volunteer Fire Department.

Anderson was sentenced to 10 years in prison to be served concurrently on the three 2nd degree charges and one-year jail terms on the 3rd degree charges. Judge Grinde suspended all but 30 days of the jail time. Anderson may serve that time on weekends or work-release if approved by Tama County Sheriff Dennis Kucera.

Fines of $1,000 on the 2nd degree and $6245 on the 3rd degree charges were also suspended.

Under the probation agreement, Correctional Services will evaluate the risk to public safety and determine the level of supervision which could include placement in a residential correctional facility according to the court order.

A hearing to determine restitution to the property owners is set for Jan. 17 in District Court in Toledo.

Anderson pled guilty to 2nd degree arson for a fire on April 24 involving a house at 3510 H Avenue owned by Randy Higginbotham; and two 2nd degree counts for fires on May 13 involving a house and a barn at 3400 G Ave. owned by Vicki Lacina. The 3rd degree pleas were for a March 18 grass fire at Duffus Landing on property owned by the State of Iowa and a grass fire on April 4 at 1740 340th St.

In pronouncing the sentences Judge Grinde noted Anderson had met pre-trial release requirements and was employed. He had been free on cash bond.

Probation In Tama Home Burglary, Assault

Joshua Robert Smith a / k / a Joshua robert Potter, 22, Marshalltown pled guilty to 2nd degree burglary. He received a suspended 10-year prison sentence and a $1,000 fine was also suspended. He was placed on probation fro three years to the 6th Judicial District Department of Correctional Services. Smith was also directed to reside at the Gerald Hinzman Center for 365 days or until maximum benefits are achieved. His custody was placed with the Tama County Sheriff until space was available at the center.

Smith was originally charged with 1st degree burglary by Tama Police after kicking in the door of a residence in the 1300 block of Harding in the early morning hours of Feb. 18. After gaining entry he allegedly kicked a sleeping occupant and an accomplice stole an XBox 360 game device and a game.

Smith was directed to pay $479 restitution to Jonathan Thomas Cowles of Tama.



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