YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A couple from Youngstown who admitted torching one Valley landmark and then defacing another with graffiti will be spending the next year in the Mahoning County Jail.
Brian McKinney, 21, and his girlfriend, Alexis Little, 21, were back in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court Tuesday morning. They pleaded guilty in May to arson and vandalism charges.
Prosecutors said they set fire to the historical Firestone Mansion in Beaver Township in October. Owners of the house, who were hoping to restore it, told Judge Lou D’Apolito the couple turned them into unintended victims.
“I experienced a paralyzing fear in my own home and for my own family. We no longer knew who we could trust. Apart from trespassing and the destruction of our property, this was a violation of our lives,” mansion owner Connie Ellison said.
A week-and-a-half after the fire, the couple also admitted spray painting graffiti at the Old Mill at Mill Creek Park. Prosecutors said both confessed they were doing drugs at the time and had been battling addiction for years.
“I just want to say that I don’t want this incident to define who I am because this is not who I am. I am not someone who would destroy something if I was sober,” Little said.
Since their arrests, both told the judge they have been undergoing drug treatment.
In addition to their 12-month sentences, D’Apolito ordered both to make more than $151,000 in restitution to the owners of the mansion and to Mill Creek Park.