ROCKLAND, Maine — A 49-year-old Union man on probation for setting fire to a farm, which killed two horses and left a family running for their lives, will serve two more years in prison for masturbating in a neighbor’s yard.
Citing his lengthy criminal record, Assistant District Attorney Jeff Baroody asked Justice Joyce Wheeler to sentence Darrell W. Degreenia to six years in prison Tuesday because “he has shown he is incapable of being rehabilitated,” Baroody said during a hearing at Knox County Superior Court on Tuesday.
Degreenia was convicted of arson and two counts of cruelty to animals in August 2007 for setting fire to a home and barn in Washington. Police said the fire, which destroyed the buildings, was in retaliation for the family testifying in a previous criminal case. Degreenia was sentenced to 10 years in prison with all but three years suspended for those crimes.
After serving those three years, he was convicted of indecent conduct in April 2011 for masturbating along the side of the road. He had 90 days of his previously suspended sentence reinstated for that offense.
He had an additional six months reimposed in August 2012 when he violated probation by drinking alcohol. Police had to use a Taser to subdue Degreenia, who had reached for a knife in his back pocket during the confrontation.
The latest disturbance occurred April 3 when Degreenia went to a neighbor’s home and tried to invite himself for dinner. The woman declined and moments later saw Degreenia masturbating in her yard. She contacted police and Degreenia was charged with indecent conduct.
“This is his third strike while on probation,” Baroody said.
Defense attorney Jonathan Handelman argued that reinstating the remaining six-year arson sentence for the latest indecent conduct didn’t fit the offense, which is far less serious.
“No one has been hurt,” Handelman said about the indecent conduct case.
Justice Wheeler said six years was excessive but the nine months recommended by Handelman was not severe enough.