YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A woman who was convicted of setting a fire that destroyed a South Side home was sentenced Tuesday to at least 23 years in prison.
Judge Maureen Sweeney handed down the sentence in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to Cheree Moore, 43, who was convicted in December of two counts of aggravated arson following a trial.
Moore was convicted of setting an Aug. 18, 2021, fire that destroyed a Regent Street home following a family dispute.
Prosecutors said Moore set the home on fire after an argument with family members who she accused of abusing one of her children. Police said they investigated her claim and could find no evidence to bring charges.
The fire put a woman in the hospital with burns, investigators said.
Reading from a prepared statement, Moore asked for leniency, saying that she only acted because of what she thought happened to her child.
She said she has other children and has quit drinking, which her attorney Mark Lavelle said was the prime reason for much of her past criminal record.
“If I could take it back, I would,” Moore said. “When I heard my child was hurt, I was all over the place. Have mercy on me please and consider my children.”
Assistant Prosecutor Patrick Fening asked for a sentence of 27 to 33 and a half years in prison, citing Moore’s extensive criminal record, including a 2000 conviction for voluntary manslaughter.
Lavelle said the fire was set after a long night of drinking with Moore and the victim, and he added the home was set to be demolished.
The victim in the case said she didn’t care if the home was to be demolished because it had been in her family for years.
“Cheree burned the house down and took a lot from me,” she said. “The condition of the house doesn’t mean it needs to be burned down.”
Judge Sweeney’s total sentence is 23 to 28 and a half years. Included in that sentence is 10 years because jurors found Moore is a repeat violent offender.
Moore plans to appeal her convictions.