Dec. 30, 2016
For Immediate Release
Contact: Paul Jarvey (508) 368-7241
WORCESTER — A 33-year-old man was sentenced to five years in prison today after pleading guilty to setting dozens of fires in Worcester and Shrewsbury, including one that caused $450,000 damage at Gibson’s Dairy Farm, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.
Worcester Superior Court Judge Janet Kenton-Walker sentenced Jonathan Shyllberg to five years to five years and a day in state prison to be followed by five years probation after the defendant admitted to setting the May 2013 blaze that damaged buildings and trucks at Gibson’s, 50 Sunderland Road, as well as separate fires in Worcester and at White City shopping plaza in Shrewsbury.
Assistant District Attorney Joseph A. Simmons, who recommended a sentence of 10-12 years in prison followed by five years probation, told the court that in addition to Gibson’s, Mr. Shyllberg set a fire at ABC Supply, 1 Sherman St. Most of the other blazes were in Dumpsters, but some of those fires caused damage to adjacent buildings.
Mr. Shyllberg pleaded guilty to 52 charges related to fires in December 2012 and the six months that followed.
Mr. Shyllberg’s lawyer, Kevin J. Mahoney, asked for a sentence of 4-5 years in prison and five years probation.
While on probation, Mr. Shyllberg will be required to remain alcohol and drug free, undergo mental health and substance abuse evaluation and treatment and stay away from the businesses impacted by the fires. He will also be required to wear a GPS bracelet for the first year.
The case was investigated by the police and fire departments in Worcester and Shrewsbury, state troopers assigned to the Fire Marshal’s Office and agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.