Firefighter 'Wannabe' to be Sentenced Oct. 22 on Arson-Related Charges
Cory Praschyk was arrested in April and charged with setting or attempting to set fires in South Whitehall, Upper Macungie and North Whitehall.
Cory Praschyk, 21, of Hanover Township (Northampton County) is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 22 in Lehigh County Court for conspiring to commit arson.
Praschyk pleaded guilty last week in Northampton County Court to setting two brush fires in 2010 on Granger Road in Lehigh Township, according to a Morning Call report. He faces sentencing there Nov. 16.
In Lehigh County, Praschyk, along with Nicolle Balliet of Allentown, had been arrested in April and charged with using a fireplace lighter and emergency flares to set or attempt to set fires in South Whitehall, Upper Macungie and North Whitehall. Each then pleaded guilty to one conspiracy to commit arson charge in Lehigh County Court in August in negotiated plea deals, and additional charges were withdrawn.
In September, Balliet was sentenced to 7.5 months to 23 months in jail. After Judge Robert Steinberg said he would reject a negotiated plea agreement that called for the same minimum jail time for Praschyk, his sentencing was continued.
Steinberg had called Praschyk a firefighter "wannabe" who allegedly deceived area volunteer fire departments.
At the time of the duo's arrest, police in South Whitehall said they had responded to several brush fires in early April in the area of Minnich Road, Albright Avenue, Focht Avenue and Cedar Crest Boulevard in South Whitehall. In a criminal complaint, Praschyk and Balliet had admitted to attempting to set a barn on fire in Upper Macungie by propelling a flare into the barn's second-floor storage area.