Goshen News, Goshen, IN

January 28, 2013

Goshen man admits to setting pavilion fires

By SCOTT WEISSER
THE GOSHEN NEWS

ELKHART — A man accused of setting fire to park pavilions in Goshen last year pleaded guilty in Elkhart Superior Court 2 Monday morning.

Nicholas A. Lynch, 20, 204 Mount Vernon, Goshen, entered guilty pleas to two Class B and two Class D felony arson counts. He faces a maximum 14 years in prison when he’s sentenced by Judge Stephen Bowers March 4.

In court today, Lynch admitted to setting fire to the Rogers Park Pavilion March 21. According to a probable cause affidavit filed in the case, Lynch told police “that he was stoned when he arrived at the park.”

“Lynch advised that he wanted a ‘high’ so he decided to light a trash can on fire,” reads the affidavit signed by Goshen police Detective Mitchell Herschberger. “He advised that he slid the can close to the pillars and lit the trash on fire. Once it spread a little he left and went towards downtown.”

Damage to the Rogers Park pavilion was estimated at $40,000. Investigators also tied Lynch to the July 2 arson that caused an estimated $15,000 in damage to the Oakridge Park pavilion. Jose Rangel of Goshen has also been charged in connection with the Oakridge fire. His next appearance in Superior Court 2 is March 11.

Lynch was charged with Class B felony arson in connection with the pavilion fires. He also admitted Monday to twice setting fire to an ex-friend’s truck last year. Those offenses were charged as Class D felonies.