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|09-07-2006, 01:45 PM||#1|
Join Date: May 2005
Man Says He Set Fire That Killed Wife's Pets:
from: Man Says He Set Fire That Killed Wife's Pets: Coplay Man Faces Up to 45 Years in Jail in Lower Towamensing Blaze.
Sep. 6--A former Palmerton man admitted Tuesday in Carbon County Court that he deliberately set his estranged wife's house on fire last year, killing the dogs and cats caged inside.
Thomas G. Heiney Jr., 37, who now lives in Coplay, pleaded guilty to a felony count of arson/endangering a person and five misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals.
County President Judge Roger N. Nanovic deferred sentencing pending a presentence investigation.
Heiney could get up to 20 years and a $25,000 fine on the arson charge and up to five years and a $10,000 fine on each of the cruelty charges.
Charges of arson/endangering property, burglary and risking a catastrophe, criminal mischief and reckless endangerment were dropped in the plea bargain.
In an affidavit of probable cause, police say Heiney set fire to the home of Beverly Heiney, 52, after the two argued June 27 about their impending divorce.
That night, police say, Heiney went in Beverly Heiney's home, at 1780 Dairy Road, Lower Towamensing Township, while she was away. Police said he told them he scattered paper around and set it on fire.
The blaze destroyed the house and killed two dogs and three cats in cages.
As Heiney left the house, he smashed the windows on his wife's vehicle, drove across the lawn, which damaged an antique well pump, and crashed through a wooden fence, police said. Neighbors said they saw Heiney drive away.
Heiney turned himself in after police searched for him for a day.
At the time, Heiney was under court order to stay away from his wife.
In her request for the protection order, Beverly wrote that her husband's temper flared when he changed antidepressant medications. At one point, he told her the divorce would "get nasty."
Police said Beverly Heiney called them June 27, saying her husband had violated the order by calling on the telephone, coming to her home and trying to get into her home office.
The couple had been separated for about two months. In the affidavit, police said Beverly Heiney's plans to have dinner with a friend apparently triggered Heiney's rage.
Heiney later called police to admit he was at the house, but did not hurt his ex-wife and therefore should not be charged with violating the order, police said. After police told him he would be charged, he set the fire, police say.
On July 6, 2005, District Judge Bruce Appleton of Palmerton reduced the $250,000 bail for Heiney to $25,000 on the condition that if he posted bail, he immediately would enter a secure mental-health facility.
It was not known Tuesday whether he entered such a facility.
Diagnosed anxiety/panic disorder without agoraphobia 1989. Talk/music therapy.
Major anxiety and mild depression in 2004 from situational stressors.
Began Paxil CR 25mg, 10/04.
Quit cold-turkey 5/5/05 as demanded by doctor.
Found paxilprogress 5/17/05.
Began Paxil CR 12.5mg 5/17/05.
Weaned 4 1/2 months.
During taper - anx/panic/depression, manic episodes, agoraphobia, suicidal ideation, many other physical symptoms.