Two Plead Guilty in Arson Case
Cory Praschyk and Nicolle Balliet had been charged with causing or attempting to cause fires in South Whitehall, Upper Macungie and North Whitehall, according to court records.
Two people charged with using a fireplace lighter and emergency flares to set or attempt to set fires in South Whitehall, Upper Macungie and North Whitehall have each pleaded guilty to one conspiracy charge in Lehigh County Court.
According to online court records, Cory Praschyk, 21, of 1570 Chaucer Lane, Hanover Township (Northampton County), and Nicolle Balliet, 19, of 1030 N. 23rd St., Allentown, each pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to commit arson/intentionally destroy an unoccupied building.
In the negotiated pleas, additional charges of arson and related offenses were withdrawn.
Both are scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 10 before Judge Robert Steinberg.
Praschyk had worked with several volunteer fire companies, including briefly with the Woodlawn Fire Department, in Lehigh and Northampton counties. He was not working with any volunteer fire companies at the time he allegedly set the fires, according to a report on lehighvalleylive.com.
Balliet is the daughter of a former volunteer fire chief, police have said.
According to the report on lehighvalleylive.com, Praschyk's attorney said it is uncertain whether Steinberg will accept Praschyk's negotiated plea because a number of fires had been set.
Bail was revoked for both, records show.
The couple had been accused of using emergency flares to set or attempt to set fires in April in South Whitehall, Upper Macungie and North Whitehall. In South Whitehall, police said they responded to several brush fires in the area of Minnich Road, Albright Avenue, Focht Avenue and Cedar Crest Boulevard.
They had also been charged with criminal mischief for allegedly spray painting properties in South Whitehall and the surrounding area.