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Man suspected of arson gets six-year suspended sentence for theft

POLSON — A 23-year-old Searcy, Arkansas man received a six-year suspended sentence last week for theft. 

Shane Thomas Northweather was sentenced by Judge Kim Christopher, who ordered him to pay $10,000 in restitution for cash that was missing following the Nov. 20, 2016 fire of a home in the 39100 block of Shelter Bay Lane in Rollins. 

Northweather was given credit for 197 days in jail. 

Charges of attempted deliberate homicide, arson and aggravated burglary were dismissed as part of a plea agreement. 

Northweather was released on his own recognizance following an Oct. 5, 2017 hearing before Christopher. Deputy County Attorney Ben Anciaux previously said that officials could not prove how the fire started. 

According to a court document, an 84-year-old man who lived in the home was awakened by an alarm and got out shortly after 11 p.m.

Northweather, who had been staying at a guest house on the property the night of the fire with the cleaning lady’s daughter, moved to Arkansas a few days later, a court document states. 

Cash that had been laid out to dry on a counter in the home the day of the fire had gone missing. The cleaning lady said she had helped the owner count the money. 

Northweather claimed that he got the funds to move after his grandfather wired him the money at Walmart, according to a court document. However, Det. Rick Lenz checked at Walmart and was unable to corroborate Northweather’s story. 

The cleaning lady said that Northweather went into the man’s home twice on the day of the fire to get firewood for the guest house. 

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