Man Gets 4-8 Years In Prison For 2015 Homestead Arson

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A man who pleaded no contest to setting a fire that caused $2 million worth of damage to buildings in Homestead was sentenced Thursday morning.

Edward McDonald, 28, received 4-8 years in prison and was ordered to pay $115,000 in restitution.

Previously, McDonald said he heard voices in his head telling him to set the fire in January of 2015.

McDonald doused his couch with two cans of lighter fluid and set it on fire.

The apartment building on East Eighth Avenue was destroyed. The fire spread to other buildings, eventually destroying an entire block.

McDonald said he doesn’t remember the fire and is schizophrenic.

His mother, Veronica Smith, said McDonald has had mental problems since he was 19 years old.

She is also disappointed the judge did not give him credit for time served, which has been 20 months between time in jail and Torrance State Hospital.

“I feel that the sentence, 4-8 for considering the damage, I think it was somewhat fair. I was just a little perplexed that he didn’t get the credit for the time that he served,” Smith said. “In the past, I have committed my son when these things happen, or if I feel that he’s off his medication. He’s never really been what you call a harm, or a danger to society.”

The judge told McDonald he believes he is a sincere person, but he has serious mental issues and is a risk to himself and society.

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