Man placed on probation for alleged arson attempt

HOLLIDAYSBURG – A Logan Township man who allegedly attempted to set fire to his home during a violent, all-night argument with his girlfriend three weeks ago was placed on four years’ probation Friday morning.

The victim in the case was Shaquan A. Barber’s girlfriend, who is pregnant with twins.

She said Barber, 23, is the father.

The girlfriend told Senior Judge Hiram A. Carpenter that she did not want him to impose a no-contact provision in the sentencing order.

Such a provision is often placed in court orders resulting from domestic violence to protect the victim.

But in Barber’s case, the young woman said she wanted to have contact with him because of their children.

Carpenter agreed and placed in his sentencing order that he was not imposing a no-contact provision.

The case made its way to county court in just more than three weeks. It often takes cases many months, if not more than a year, to come before the Court of Common Pleas.

According to police arrest documents, Barber threatened to burn down the couple’s house at 306 Greenwood Drive during the argument.

The victim had injuries to her forehead, forearm and wrist, according to a police affidavit of probable cause, which alleged that Barber choked his girlfriend, as well.

He was charged with also threatening to set the house on fire. Police said he attempted to burn a coat and other items.

Carpenter accepted a plea agreement presented to the court by Assistant District Attorney Julia Wilt.

Barber was placed on probation for four years for simple assault and recklessly endangering other people.

Carpenter ordered Barber to undergo a mental health evaluation, a drug and alcohol evaluation and anger management therapy.

He is to follow any recommendations that are made following the evaluations.

The judge ruled the probation sentence will run concurrent with probation he received on an endangering the welfare of children charge as the result of an incident that occurred in October 2012.

Barber was represented by Assistant Public Defender Julia Burke.

He did not offer an explanation of what occurred on Jan. 8.

Mirror Staff Writer Phil Ray is at 946-7468.