LOGAN — A 49-year-old Richmond man will remain behind bars, for causing a fire that destroyed a garage and damaged his grandmother’s home. Derek G. Parkinson was sentenced to four-months in jail after previously accepting a plea deal.
Parkinson was sentenced in 1st District Court Tuesday morning. In August he pleaded guilty to possession or use of a controlled substance, a third-degree felony; and, two misdemeanors of reckless endangerment and reckless burning. As part of the agreement, prosecutors agreed not to recommend a prison sentence. A similar case against the defendant from December 2017 was also dropped.
On July 16, deputies arrived on the scene of the two-alarm fire, near 311 N. State St. in Richmond. The garage and several vehicles were engulfed in flames. They could also hear small explosions going off in the garage.
Fire fighters were able to keep flames contained to the garage, which was a total loss. The home also sustained significant smoke damage.
Investigators later learned that the fire started while Parkinson was using a metal grinder that ignited some nearby pine needles. They also conducted a drug test, which came back positive for methamphetamine use.
During Tuesday’s sentencing, defense attorney Gerald Salcido said when Parkinson uses drugs or alcohol, he does dumb things. He asked for a shorter sentence, so his client would be able to seek help with the substance addiction.
Parkinson spoke only briefly, telling the court he was ready to be clean. He wanted to seek help and medication for both his addiction and mental health issues.
Cache County Deputy Attorney Barbara Lachmar said Parkinson needs more time in jail to be stabilized. She also asked that the defendant be prohibited from having any explosive material and be kept away from his grandmother.
Judge Brian Cannell ordered Parkinson to serve 120-days in jail but credited him the 70-days already served. He also granted the defendant work and counseling release.
Judge Cannell agreed with Lachmar. He ordered Parkinson not to possess any explosive or combustible materials, including matches or lighters, and not to live with the victim. He said, “Let’s do this the right way and not put you or others at risk.”