Tioga Downs horse barn arsonist pleads guilty

NICHOLS, N.Y. (WETM) — The Pennsylvania man who set fire to a horse barn at Tioga Downs Casino killing 30 horses and injuring a trainer back in November 2023 pleaded guilty on Monday, according to new information from the Tioga County District Attorney’s Office.

According to Tioga County District Attorney Kirk O. Martin, on Monday, Jan. 29, 33-year-old Boyd Fenton pleaded guilty to the following charges:

  • Arson in the third degree, a class C felony

  • Assault in the second degree, a class D violent felony

  • 30 counts of interference with or injury to certain domestic animals, all class E felonies

Where did the money from the Tioga Downs fire GoFundMe go?

Martin said in the release that Fenton will receive the maximum sentences the law allows.

For Fenton’s arson conviction, the charge carries a sentence of five to 15 years in prison. For Fenton’s assault conviction, the charge carries a set sentence of seven years in prison, with three years of parole following his release. For the 30 counts of interference with or injury to certain domestic animals, Fenton will receive sentences between 1 1/3 to four years in state prison.

Martin said that because all of the crimes resulted from the setting of one fire, New York State law requires the sentences to be served simultaneously.

Fenton is scheduled to be sentenced for the crimes on April 19, 2024.

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