Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Sheffield Township – An 18 year old Sheffield Township man has been charged in connection with the latest arson fire that destroyed the Vincent Elementary School playground set. Deputies charged Ernest Phillips with Vandalism, Breaking & Entering and two counts of Arson.

Phillips called 9-1-1 to report the fire on his own cell phone. Officials say that when he was questioned the first time at the scene he seemed nervous and told them that at first he thought it was his garage before he looked over and saw the playground set on fire.

A couple hours after Firefighters had left the scene Phillips called back to 9-1-1 and said that he had set the first fire and had now set the school on fire.

When Deputies spoke with Phillips after the second call he claimed that he didn’t make the call and in fact had lost his cell phone. Deputies found the phone on the porch of Phillip’s home. Phillips was arrested at that time and his clothes, that Deputies said smelled of accelerant, were confiscated. Deputies arrested him and charged him with Obstructing, Inducing Panic, Tampering and Making False Alarms.

During interrogation at the Lorain County Sheriff’s Department on Monday, Phillips confessed to setting the fire.

Phillip’s mother stands behind her son, even with the confession, and says that her son is innocent.

Phillip’s has a history of setting fires as a juvenile.



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