Nibley man sentenced to prison for setting mother’s house on fire

Booking photo for Christopher L. Lescoe. Courtesy: Cache County Jail

LOGAN — A 34-year-old Nibley man has been sentenced to prison after trying to burn his mother’s house down and other criminal charges. Christopher L. Lescoe cried for help, before being ordered to serve 1-to-15-years at the Utah State Prison.

Lescoe was sentenced in 1st District Court Monday morning. He previously pleaded guilty to aggravated arson, a first-degree felony; and attempted violation of a protective order, a class B misdemeanor.

Public defender Mike McGinnis said Lescoe’s behavior is troubling to society. He explained that his client suffers from mental health problems. He was also highly intoxicated at the time of the fire, to the point that he didn’t know where he was when deputies arrested him. McGinnis asked the court to either reduce the arson charge to a second-degree felony or sentence the defendant to a rehab facility.

On March 3, Lescoe was involved in a hit-and-run crash in Logan, while driving his mother’s vehicle. When his brother and mother confronted him about the accident, he became combative and barricaded himself inside her home.

While inside, Lescoe started the house on fire in an attempt to take his life.

During Monday’s sentencing, Lescoe told Judge Thomas Willmore that there was no excuse for what happened. He explained that he fell off track, after going through a divorce, losing his businesses, and not going to church. He asked the court not to send him to prison, saying he was a horrible person when he drinks but he wanted to be a good person again.

Cache County Chief Deputy Spencer Walsh said Lescoe poses a threat to society. He said a case like the defendant’s demanded prison and can’t be tolerated. He also disagreed with defense’s motion to reduce the charge.

Judge Willmore told Lescoe that he has got to get help. He noted how deputies also had a similar standoff with him in southern Utah that lasted for more than a day. He explained that sending the defendant to rehab would not be enough. He did agree though to reduce the sentence, saying that it would be unduly harsh after the treatment Lescoe had been receiving in jail.

Judge Willmore explained that sending Lescoe to prison on the first-degree felony would only delay the time before he would get help. He refused though to give him credit for time served.

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