Felton church arsonists sentenced to 10 months in prison

Alex J. Harrington Jr., left, and Joseph T. Skochelak, were arrested Dec. 8.  (Delaware State News file photo)

Alex J. Harrington Jr., left, and Joseph T. Skochelak, were arrested Dec. 8. (Delaware State News file photo)

DOVER — Two men were each sentenced to 10 months in prison after pleading guilty to a trio of arsons at rural Felton area churches in late 2014, officials confirmed.

Co-defendants Joseph T. Skochelak, of Felton, and Alex J. Harrington Jr., of Harrington, both pleaded guilty to three counts each of second-degree arson, third-degree burglary, and second-degree conspiracy counts on April 23, followed by a pre-sentence investigation ordered by Resident Judge William L. Witham Jr. and sentencing in Kent County Superior Court.

The sentences included:

Second-degree arson — 8 years at Level 5, suspended after 10 months, followed by 1 year at Level 3 probation.

Third-degree burglary — 2 years Level 5, suspended for 1 year Level 4 CREST Program. Upon successful completion, 1 year Level 3 CREST Aftercare.

Second-degree conspiracy — 2 years at Level 5, suspended for 1 year at Level 2 probation.

The men were arrested after police investigation into overnight fires on Dec. 2, 2014 at Healing Hands Christian Church in the 500 block of Berrytown Road, Laws Mennonite Church on Carpenter Bridge Road and Manship Chapel in the 4900 block of Burnite Mill Road.

Also involved was a burglary at St. James Union AME Church in the 4000 block of Andrews Lake Road.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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