Arsonist violates probation, goes back to jail

Posted Oct. 04, 2012, at 2:36 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 48-year-old Union man who is on probation for setting a fire that nearly killed a couple and claimed several animals will serve another six months behind bars after his arrest earlier this year.

Darrell W. Degreenia admitted Wednesday in Knox County Superior Court to violating his probation on July 22 when he registered 0.21 on a blood alcohol test. One of his conditions of probation was that he not consume alcohol.

Justice Jeffrey Hjelm ordered Degreenia to serve six months of the previously suspended sentence.

Court records show that when Knox County Sheriff officers and state police were arresting Degreenia in July he had to be subdued with a Taser because he reached for a knife that was in his back pocket. Police had been called to a house in Washington that day for a report of disorderly conduct.

Degreenia also had been given a verbal warning in December 2011 over alcohol use, according to court records.

Degreenia was convicted in July 2008 for arson and cruelty to animals. He was sentenced in Knox County Superior Court to 10 years in prison with all but three years suspended and placed on probation for four years.

In the arson case, investigators said Degreenia set a Washington home on fire in August 2007. The couple barely escaped but a horse and two dogs died in the flames. Police said that Degreenia set the fire because of a grudge against the couple.

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